Training to be the very best

Blog / Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012

I’m not sure if you’re aware, but my school is pretty much the best at English in the area. You want proof you say? Well, how about the fact that we’re sending two┬ástudents to the national olympiad┬ácompetition┬ánext month. On;y the first place students in each grade level at the oblast level move on to nationals. So yeah, we’re kind of a big deal.

Anyway, it’s fallen into my hands to be the one who works on the speaking portion of the test with the two girls (the competition involves speaking, reading, writing, and listening). The teachers made sure to stress how big of a deal this is for the school.

Today I was given my schedule for the next month and it’s, well, intensive. Peace Corps TEFL Volunteers are required to have between 16 and 20 (give or take two on the exact numbers) lessons a week. I average about seventeen on weeks where my classes aren’t cancelled. With my olympiad schedule, which is taking precedence over other classes this month, I have 30 lessons a week.

At the moment, I’m fine with this but I haven’t had a chance yet to try it out. I have a feeling that after next week, I’m going to be beat. I’ll gladly be welcoming my Spring Break trip. You can argue all you want that 30 lessons a week is still less than a 40-hour working week and I’ll come back with how those 30 lessons are far more physically and mentally draining than most working weeks. It’s thirty lessons of actively listening to students for mistakes. Thirty lessons of working with things as they happen. Thirty lessons of mental activity.

I’m okay with it.

What bothers me a little is how some teachers haven’t realized the extra load this will be for me and insist on keeping status quo. If it really becomes a problem, I’ll handle it. I know my boundaries and limits and I will protect them for the sake of my sanity.

Anyway, I’ll keep you updated on how things go with these girls. My goal is to have them scoring perfectly in speaking.


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