I just got my very first ESL teaching job. I’m thrilled. After firing off numerous random applications by email, I got called to interview with Aspect International Language Academy, on the Whittier College campus. The director of programs hired me on the spot. The next day, I was back for orientation. Two things concern me: the commute, 90 minutes each way by suway and two buses; and the fact that I won’t know who I’m teaching, and what level, until my first morning on the job. However, I’m nothing if not adaptable and quick-witted. After all, I once learned the script for a historic house tour in 15 minutes, right before having to guide groups of people through the place.
Aspect seems very laid-back. This is a summer program, which means it’s take the money and run, keep the students entertained, and momentarily distract them from their vacation in the U.S. and from Disneyland. I have also been thinking lately how really arbitrary the whole ESL field is. I spent a year taking classes, getting certified, being background-checked, fingerprinted, going through about 10 interviews, observing classes, and generally trying to charm my way into a gig with LAUSD, to no avail (so far). Now, here I am suddenly teaching a 3-week program, with a possible extension to 6 weeks.
So, tomorrow morning I’m off to Vegas with a friend. This is vacation week from my “real” job. My teaching career starts July 5. Guess what my first lesson plan will cover? (Hint, it involves flag-waving and fireworks.)