What the Orientation wasn’t:
- Knowledge Enhancing
What the Orientation was:
- Exposure to other teacher’s pain
- An opportunity to network
- It will get better, we promise…
- We’re Doing the Best that we can, and it’s not our fault
All in all, it wasn’t too painful, and I’m glad I came. Didn’t take away much in practical material for lesson planning or any of the hundred different conflicts we must resolve internally and externally, but it WAS nice to hear the other teachers were experiencing many of the same things. And yes, even that maybe I’m getting the creme de la creme of experiences and managing just fine.
I guess the best thing I came away from this trip is shattering my misconceptions that everyone was crabby like on Dave’s ESL cafe or frat boys out to just party. The majority are actually really interested in being here and take teaching English seriously – however, some training IS needed to get them to think about designing their lesson plans to get the kids to express themselves meaningfully, vs. just pronouncing English correctly. As always, I suck at networking, but I’m also pragmatic and I’m too busy to schedule in more socializing as it is. Just knowing there are some people here with a little substance is enough to recharge my batteries a little.