“I love the chicken brothers”: Connecting in English class

All is going very well with my new online English class. I’m teaching four delightful young people (ages 16-21) who all live in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Two are in high school and two are in college (studying law and industrial engineering). In other words, they are all very sharp, and are learning  quickly—the kind of group any teacher enjoys. 🙂

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My first ESL teaching job: Guayaquil, Ecuador (online)

Good news, everyone! I just landed my first ESL teaching job. I’ll be teaching online from my home in Mexico for International House in Guayaquil, Ecuador. (International House is the same organization that trained me.)

My first class will be an four-week Elementary class for about five young adults, Tuesday through Friday for two hours a day, starting July 21. There’s a good chance that it will go beyond the four weeks if everyone is happy with the class, but with all the COVID-19 stuff we’re not planning too far ahead.

Needless to say, I’m very much looking forward to it! Of course I’m a little nervous too, but the director of the school assures me I have nothing to worry about. I’ve been well trained, and my tutor in Mexico gave me a glowing recommendation. Plus, the director says, if I truly connect with the students, everything else will take care of itself. In our last meeting, he shared some words of wisdom from a colleague of his: “You can train a nice person to be a good teacher, but you can’t train a mean person to not be an asshole.” I think I qualify. 🙂

My final night in the neighborhood

Done! With a big assist from my hero Fred Rogers (the subject of my listening lesson tonight), I finished my ESL teacher training with flying colors. All that’s left is a Saturday morning meeting on employment opportunities followed by an online fiesta.

As Fred Rogers said via video to my students tonight, “The greatest thing that we can do is to help somebody know that they’re loved and capable of loving.” That’s what I want to remember going forward, whatever ESL employment I end up pursuing. I look forward to many more opportunities to give and receive love as my journey continues. But for now…time to rest! 😴

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

I’m halfway there, livin’ on a prayer

I have officially reached the halfway point in my ESL teaching course. I’ve completed two of my four required written assignments and four of my eight required teaching sessions. I’m happy to report that I’m doing better in my teaching sessions every week. My tutor gave me “meets the standard” grades for my first two classes (a worthy grade that means I taught a good, solid class), but gave me “above the standard” grades for the last two. 🙂

A PowerPoint slide from my last class

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So far, so good…

Just a quick update to let everyone know that my ESL teaching class is going  well so far. It’s very time-intensive, so I’ve pretty much been living at my computer. I’ve passed my first two written assignments, as well as my first three teaching practices (where we teach an actual class). Our tutor said that my third teaching session was my best yet, so looks like I’m learning something. 🙂

One of the PowerPoint slides I used in my last teaching session

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Taking it sitting down: my ESL online teaching course continues

Hope everyone is doing well. I’ve been pretty much anchored to my computer chair as my ESL (English as a Second Language) online teaching course has gone into full swing. The program is quite intensive and full of things to do, so my life is now a strange combination of being planted in one spot and being engaged in constant activity.  I’m definitely taking it sitting down!

Fortunately, I’m really enjoying the course and everything is going well. My teachers and fellow students are wonderful, and the work is interesting and engaging. I’ll be doing my first online teaching session with real students this Wednesday. Wish me luck! 🙂 Everyone take care and stay healthy! 😷

Class is in session!

Back to school: My first week of English teaching class

I just finished my first week of training in teaching English as a second language, and it looks like I’ll be extremely busy from now until the end of June. But it has been very rewarding so far. Nothing like going back to school at age 56!

One pleasure, of course, is meeting my instructors and classmates—at least online, since that’s where the entire class is taking place. What a wonderful international crew we have: men and women from the US, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Ghana, Iran, and China. One of our problems is finding a time when we can all meet!

No, this isn’t us, but this is what my life looks like now! 🙂

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A new beginning in these strange times: Teaching English here in Mexico

Hope everyone is doing well, given the strange circumstances we’re all living in with the COVID-19 pandemic. I know that many people are getting hit hard, and if you are, my and Patricia’s love and prayers go out to you. We’ve been reaching out to those around us (following all the preventive protocols of course) to give what help we can. As I said in my last post, let us all be angels for each other.

Fortunately, we are doing okay ourselves. We are hunkered down at home, working online and binging on Netflix like so many others. Thank goodness our financial situation is okay. That being said, it could be better, and so I’m glad to be embarking on an exciting new venture: On Monday, I’ll begin a training course for a credential to teach English as a second language here in Mexico.

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