My school has instituted monthly teacher's meetings. The nice thing is that pizza was provided (a welcomed change from gallo pinto). The bad thing is that the time, which came to a couple of hours, was unpaid. It also meant I had to go to the academy on my day off. These are minor inconveniences compared to the benefits of getting everyone together for a roundtable discussion, though. We shared ideas and learned from each other.
It's funny. I've only been working there for a couple of months, but I'm already considered a "senior" teacher because we have so many new folks. Only one teacher, at this point, has been there longer than me. Others have moved out of the country or moved up to administrative positions. I think this holds true in many EFL schools. Most teachers only stay for 6 months to, maybe, 2 years. So, despite my relative lack of experience (others have taught more, just not at this academy), and despite having only taught one class through completion, I was one of the most vocal participants.
For instance, management suggested a policy of submitting weekly lesson plans to our academic coordinator by Friday afternoon. I'd been doing them for myself for my class all along. My habit is to review the previous week's plan over the weekend, see what worked and what didn't, and use that knowledge to plan for the upcoming week. (Even then, plans change day by day). So I suggested that we submit plans on Monday morning instead. The other teachers, who had been silent on this issue, suddenly chimed in, agreeing with me. In the end, management agreed as well.
I have other ideas for improving the school, too, based on what I've seen and experienced. Some I'm ready to share, others I'll keep to myself for now. It's in my nature to make a system as efficient as possible. I think that comes from being a tech-head. I'm finding that being a teacher isn't too different from doing technical support. Both involve explaining difficult concepts to people who are unfamiliar with them, and dealing with managers who simply want the business / school to run smoothly.
Who knows? Maybe someday I'll be an academic coordinator myself.
Nah. That'd be too much like real work.
Labels: costa rica, teaching