no napping and oh yes, a short term teaching contract!

2 May

Oy, the vicious cycle. I sleep in way too late or take a nap or etc. and then I can’t sleep at night and feel awful the next day so nap and etc. etc.

You know the drill.  My wee wee fan base, you know the drill!

I need to start making myself get up at 7 am again and why! why! you ask.  Well, I had that interview and they offered me the job on the spot!  Something about sexism and only having interviewed men other than me so perfect I say!  May 22 – August 4, with a week break in there in the Explore program (described below).  And then August 7-August 24 at the program that I taught in the winter.

Wow, that 10 weeks at ELI at UBC in the winter has served me well.  While ELI doesn’t run the Explore program where I will be working for 10 weeks (2 five week sessions with a week break in between), Language, Culture and Travel does.  However, as of this year I think or last year, ELI provides the teachers.  Once the seniority teachers (not me, sigh) have had their pick, then folks like me get our names sent in. Had I not been able to jump into the ELI program back in January, I wouldn’t have had this opportunity now.  All in the timing really.  Lucky too as the program at ELI only needs me for three weeks in August, and Explore ends right when that starts!

  The Explore program, which also runs at Langara, is a five week language program.  First or second year (I think) university students from Quebec come to learn English, or oddly, French (go figure).  It is a much more intense program than what I taught from Jan.-March.  More students per class too – average of 21 or so.  I’ll be teaching 3 – 1.5 hour classes a day (the morning ones will have the same curriculum, taught to two different classes) and then I will also be responsible for taking the students on field trips off campus once a week.  And then there is the ‘welcome’ evening cruise  on the first day, meetings, and other evening activities.  Plus marking, making up tests and teaching to a university level as this is credit for them at their universities.   Wowza!  There is also a bilingual mixer once a week, where I plan the English part (obviously) and the French teacher the French part, so the students get to mix with other students who have native speaking in the language that they are learning.  So interesting.

The interviewer, a Francophone himself, started speaking to me in French.  He had just spent about an hour speaking to someone else in French and honestly, I think he forgot.  I froze, thinking, uh, oh, has there been a mixup?  No, no, he said, you must be comfortable in a bilingual environment.  ‘Oui,” I said.

Another awesome thing is that I can basically pick the topic I want to teach on, as long as I can teach it at a university level.  I noted that creative non-fiction has been taught before, so I might go with that, as well as Canadian fiction and such like that.  It really depends on what the students want though.  Finally!  My obsessive love of reading, my enjoyment of writing and teaching worlds can collide!

There is to be a welcome lunch for teachers sometime next week which I look forward to.  Apparently we’ll learn at least a few days ahead what we are to be teaching more clearly and thus have some time to prepare.  I have tons of creative non-fiction stories and a book of Alice Munro stories, some of which are set in Vancouver so that’s good.  Making sure 63 students like me (morning and afternoon classes) now that, that is a challenge.

Carry on.  As you were.  Oh and I’m postponing my 3 dayish ‘career planning’ thingy through EI.  I mean I could have done it this week but it never thrilled me.  I think I’ll do it at the end of the summer.

As of August 24, all things being well and happy, I will have 23 weeks total at ELI.  At 32 weeks, if I am enrolled in a Masters of TESOL or such program, I can be added to their seniority list (not necessarily though).  I believe I can teach 32 weeks a year without being enrolled, so that is also good.  After August 24, there will be nothing happening for me there till next year but the experience of Explore is great – curriculum development and etc.

Rumour is that SFU just gutted its ESL program, sending teachers with Masters into the wind.  Go figure.

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