Noblesse Key

I am a kenneth.










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Monday, February 1, 2016

The Second Language Teacher (To Be?)

In my adult life, I don’t know how many crossroads I’m going to face. Now, I’m given with possibly the hardest decision in my life.
            Last Monday night, my brother brought home a copy of The NORSUnian, the school paper of my undergrad school. A call for English teachers in Vietnam was posted in the front page. I told Maybs, the reason I have a teacher’s license, that there was a hiring, and we decided to give it a try. Thursday came, and we went to my alma mater. When we arrived, there were already applicants being interviewed—and bloody hell, doing a teaching demo. Now, it must be put on record that I have not done a teaching demo, not even once. I have a license ’cause I took a crash course in education, but I skipped the practicum, which was not a requirement in taking the board exam.
            I swear, even Leonardo da Vinci won’t be able to draw my face. I panicked, you don’t say? I went there without any idea what to do. What a rookie. Well, Maybs has teaching experience, so she was fine. Good thing I brought my laptop. I searched all my folders for a topic I could use as a demo. I found my PowerPoint presentation about traditional grammar. I quickly modified it to be a teaching demo “material”—as if I know what it looks like.
            There were already fifteen applicants who finished the interview and demo before we went for a lunch break. I was applicant 28. The hiring officer interviews five applicants sequentially, and then they would do the teaching demo. I know this is kind of shrewd, but I was taking note of the things they were doing and added it to the things I already knew. I mean, I have not done a teaching demo, but I have read about it, including the process.
            Now, the time for me to be interviewed. Some of the questions: “What keeps you busy?” I am a book editor. “Why did you apply?” I saw a gap in what is taught in school and what is really needed in the outside world. “Convince me to hire you.” I basically enumerated my educational background and ended it with the linguistic theories and teaching strategies on second language acquisition that I have learned in my master’s class. Midterms just happened, so they were still fresh on my mind. Then, unexpectedly, the hiring officer told me that in terms of paperwork and knowledge, I already deserved a slot, and if I do well in the teaching demo, then I am hired. I must admit, that gave me a little confidence that I can actually pull the demo off.
            Demo time. I started shaky but eventually found my groove. I was transitioning to next slide when suddenly, the hiring officer told me to stop and that he already had seen enough. I was like, What? Is that good or bad? My paranoia kicked in. Maybs came next and was natural in her demo and did it strong. She was surefire, no doubt.
            My main concern is whether I had overpronounced the words. I tend to do that, considering that I’m not a native English speaker. I asked Maybs, and she told me that my pronunciation was fine and my presentation was so college-like. I was struck with the “college-like” since I was supposed to be teaching high school or intermediate students. Was my topic too advanced? The hiring officer told us that he would just send a message that night if we were “in” or “out.”
            I went home with this uneasy feeling. Did I do enough or did I overdo it? Then the night came and I received no text. Meanwhile, Maybs did. I was disappointed for a second but recovered fast. Maybe because the thought of working in another country was kind of daunting. I was happy for Maybs nonetheless.
So the next day, I decided to travel back to Cebu since I have my master’s class the next day, Saturday. As I was traveling aboard the fastcraft, Maybs texted me to call her (she was at the orientation). She said that I was actually in the list who qualified. So I asked her to confirm it with the hiring officer. And yes, I passed. LOL. Now, it feels like a strip from a drama or something.
            Now present time, Monday, Feb 01, I am waiting for the agency to call me to instruct me on how to proceed. Oh, I already talked with my team leader in my current job. She was very supportive as usual. My days as a book editor is numbered, and that warrants another post. Ha!
            Right now, I still have doubts. Will I survive working in Vietnam? Other teachers have, so perhaps I can too. This. Is. Hard. 

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