Thursday, May 25, 2006

New Teacher Friction

Today was a kinda crazy. We had a visit from one of the big-wigs from the main office. She is a nice enough person. I'm not sure why she came to our school today. She hung around the office for about an hour and took off. While she was there, she approached me. She asked me about my work and I proceeded to explain to her that I am the best Superwriters teacher that Gram has and I am preparing for a presentation about the program for all of the other foreign teachers tomorrow. (the sentence you just read is a whopper of a I told her this within ear-shot of a few of the Chinese teachers and one of the other foreign teachers in our office. Sandy, one of the Chinese teachers, started chuckling pretty loud. I turned to her and asked her why she was laughing. She said that a Taiwanese person would NEVER be so bold as to assert they are the best teacher at anything. That's when I started laughing and realized that the brazen American in me was shining Here's the thing, I do think that I am the best, and there's nothing wrong with feeling that way!!

A side affect of the exchange with the big-wig was a little testiness from one of the other foreign teachers.

Carrie is one of the folks they brought in to take the place of Chris and Brent. She is a really great girl who has a cute personality. We often talk about the silliest things at work, which helps us deal with the things that are driving us nuts.

Also, earlier today, Sandy (yes, the same Sandy from earlier in this entry, she holds a lot of clout in the office) approached me while I was sitting at my desk (Carrie was sitting next to me). She told me about a Chinese-Teachers-Only meeting they had had earlier in the week that included a discussion about proofreading some of our new texts. The texts we use are full of errors because the folks in charge didn't think it was necessary to have people with proofreading skills check them over before they published them...brilliant! Anyhow, my boss was assigning the various Chinese teachers to do different tasks regarding the proofreading. She puts together teams to tackle the different aspects of the job. Each team has a foreign teacher to help them. Sandy said they were fighting over who got to have me on their team!!!! How freaking cool is that? The point of this rambling is all of this was said while Carrie was sitting next to me. I think she felt a bit slighted.

Well, I'm not certain, but it seems like she was a bit offended by my assertion that I might be a better teacher than her. Not long after the boss left she started getting a bit short with me. I think that perhaps a combination of her tough classes, cramped work-space (we share a desk, a very small desk), and the above factors are making her a little testy. I do feel sorta bad for her. She was given a few really tough classes. The classes she has are junior-high level and they are full of kids with strong personalities. She inherited these classes from Brent, who had an extremely loose teaching style. I don't think that style jives with her approach to the job. I hope she doesn't get too discouraged, I'd like her to stick around. She is a good teacher with a lot to contribute.

Time to hit the sack. Have to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for the big presentation tomorrow.

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