TEFL Coworkers: Are They Weirdos Too?
In Are TEFLers Weirdos?, I shared my conclusion that people who have it in them to up and move to a foreign country for a year or more to live and work may be a little unusual; whether that translates into something negative depends on the person (and the one doing the “translating”).
TEFL is unlike many fields as far as the co-worker situation. You may in fact work “alongside” others if you end up preparing in the same room at the same time…but not necessarily. The place where you will overlap is often in sharing classes. This has the “pro” of meaning that you won’t get tired of a class but the “con” of being difficult to coordinate, especially if you almost never see the other teacher. “Working alongside” someone based on their written notes can prove challenging.
At once school, we wrote a few lines about what we did in class in a teachers’ register and finished with an indication of exactly where we had left off in the book by writing “Start exercise B, p. 57” and so on. The teacher I was sharing a group with was new and nearly exploded when he saw what I’d written. I think his exact words were “Is that a suggestion or an order?”…umm…that’s what you’ll find written in 99% of the registers. He later apologized. And shook my hand to demonstrate his sincerity. And went on to ignore the book the students were tested on at the end of the course, instead having them read aloud from books he considered literary greats.
I had another colleague turn up after teaching to meet me wearing Swiss Army fatigues (not Swiss. Nice guy, strange wardrobe).
Stay tuned for Am I A Weirdo? Things I Do That May Make Me Stick Out