The Test Class Disaster Case

by Kirsty on April 27, 2011

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Last time I wrote about the Skype interview for my first ever teaching job, well that end up being just a small chat and she told me what really mattered was the interview. We flew into Bangkok a couple of days later and the next day I headed off to outskirts of Bangkok for my interview.

I was a little apprehensive, but the interview wasn’t too stressful. She asked the usual questions I was expecting. How would you control the kids? Why do you want to teach? Etc. This is when she dropped the bombshell, the two interviews didn’t really matter, what really mattered was my test class. I went along with this as if I had heard these words before, but inside I was secretly freaking out. She tried to book for the next day but luckily there wasn’t a class ready so I had the weekend to prepare… phew!

Everything I had heard in the two interviews had given me a great impression of the school and basically I was desperate for the job. This might be why my preparation may have gone a little over the top.

The subject I was set was: Shape and colour. At first this seemed easy enough, but I had to provide all of my own materials. So Poi and I went out and bought huge sheets of various coloured bits of card, good job Bangkok sells everything, and spent an afternoon in the hostel lounge drawing and cutting out shapes much to the delight of the staff who were searching out objects for us to draw round.

Colourful Shapes

Lots of colourful shapes…

The morning of the class came round and I made my way off with my bag of colourful shapes. I was told my first class was going to be with K1s (2/3 year olds) and I would be assessed on how I got on.

Half an hour later, I was outside the classroom feeling like I wanted to cry, it had been a disaster. I couldn’t control the kids, nor did they know what each shape was, there was a lot of crying, and a lot of very very very confused faces. I tried to play a “find the shapes” game which tanked. They didn’t understand the rules and ended up just running around the room for a while. By the end I felt terrible, I knew this wasn’t the right age group for me and I wanted to get out of there.

However “Janice” seemed a little bit more upbeat about things, she said she liked my preparation and could see the skill was there (how I don’t know) but that the age group just wasn’t suited to me. She decided to give me another go with a class of K2 3/4 year olds) to see how I got on.

Now I’m thinking this is really my last chance, but what have I got to lose? After a two hour wait they were ready for me again and not dwelling on the previous class I went in with fresh optimism, it worked. The second class went perfect, the kids seem to enjoy the games and were eager to get involved and learn. “Janice” obviously felt a lot better about this as she even left me to it for a while.

What a relief, the disaster of the first class still worried me a bit as she had seen just how bad it went and I wondered if that would have an effect on their decision.

I spoke to “Janice” afterwards and she said she was pleased with the second class and was willing to let me work the summer school that would start on Friday. During that time they would assess my performance and ultimately decide if they would offer me a full time contract.

I was so relieved, especially after the first test class, I was amazed to be leavng with anything but she must have seen something she liked, so for the next few weeks at least… I have a job!

TEFL Test Class

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{ 37 comments… read them below or add one }

jill- Jack and Jill Travel The World April 27, 2011 at 8:35 pm

Congrats, Kirsty! Don’t beat yourself up over your first class test – you’ll have plenty of time to show them that you’re going to be an awesome teacher.
jill- Jack and Jill Travel The World´s last blog post ..My Solo Traveling Moments in Cartagena

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Kirsty April 27, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Thanks Jill – I plan to!

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Odysseus April 27, 2011 at 8:59 pm

I’m sure you did much better than you think, even with the youngest class. 2-3 year olds are just babies after all. They probably learn more by absorbing their surroundings than any traditional lessons. My friends who teach little kids say that most of the job is just wiping their noses and cuddling them. 🙂 I bet you’ll be great at it in a week.
Odysseus´s last blog post ..Wherein I Die and Go to Varkala

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Kirsty April 27, 2011 at 9:35 pm

They really are babies! But so very very cute. I am very surprised at how well the kids can speak English at the school. The kids in the second class could form sentences… much better than the broken thai I could speak!!!!

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Amanda April 28, 2011 at 6:50 am

Awesome news, Kirsty! It’s nice that “Janice” gave you a second shot. Good luck with the summer school! I’m sure you’ll do great.
Amanda´s last blog post ..Love to Laugh Don’t Miss Chicago Improv

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Kirsty April 29, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Thanks Amanda – it’s been great fun so far! The kids are sooooooo cute!!! 🙂

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Jaime April 28, 2011 at 9:54 am

Yay congrats… sorry about the 1st class, but glad janice gave you a 2nd chance and you got to show them what you are capable of. Hope you have a great summer term and are picked up full time. Congrats again!!!
Jaime´s last blog post ..Volcano Boarding in Leon- Nicaragua!

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Kirsty April 29, 2011 at 7:06 pm

Thanks – yeah the first one was a complete disaster I even told her that if it was like that I don’t think I would be able to do the work. But the second class was soooo much better. I love working with the kids they are amazing

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Roman April 28, 2011 at 10:30 am

Congrats! It only gets easier from here! Controlling 2 and 3 year olds is never an easy task. I have been trying for the past few years with very limited success. Best of luck!
Roman´s last blog post ..ESL IN CHINA

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Kirsty April 29, 2011 at 7:07 pm

haha – if I get the full time job I will be working with K1s (2/3) and K2s (3/4) so we shall see!

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megan April 28, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Congratulations 🙂 It sounds like it was daunting, but I’m with Janice – impressed by the amount of preparation you put in – how bright and colourful are those shapes?! 🙂

I’m really looking forward to see how your teaching experiences go – I’m thinking of doing a TEFL course and perhaps heading off to Korea so I’m keen to see how you get on with it.

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Kirsty April 29, 2011 at 7:07 pm

They are pretty colourful and really cheap to make 🙂 I will keep you updated….

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Andi of My Beautiful Adventures April 28, 2011 at 8:56 pm

CONGRATS!!!!!!!

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Kirsty April 29, 2011 at 7:08 pm

Thanks Andi 🙂

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Kyle Morgan April 29, 2011 at 7:22 am

Congrats on the teaching job! I’m sure it will lead to a lot of good posts!
Kyle Morgan´s last blog post ..The Golden Triangle – Thailand- Myanmar- and Laos

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Kirsty April 29, 2011 at 7:08 pm

haha definitely, Poi’s already been laughing at a few of the stories!!!

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Katie April 29, 2011 at 7:49 pm

What exciting news! All of your hard work and preparation paid off; thank goodness for second chances-kids can be a real handful. I hope everything goes well-Congrats!
Katie´s last blog post ..Hyatt Place

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Kirsty April 30, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Thanks Katie, I’m enjoying it so far 🙂

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Dan Collins April 29, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Is Poi now the teachers pet? 😛
Dan Collins´s last blog post ..Friday Photo 5

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Poi April 30, 2011 at 1:44 pm

and proud!

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Dan Collins May 2, 2011 at 3:08 pm

hahaha bless..
Dan Collins´s last blog post ..Friday Photo 5

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Shaun May 1, 2011 at 1:51 am

Congratulations, Kirsty!

That first class sounds like what most 2-3 year old kids do… cry, eat, scream, shit, throw tantrums, etc. I’m really glad you got the opportunity to actually work with kids who are old enough to allow you to be a teacher, not a babysitter. 🙂
Shaun´s last blog post ..Fitting In – Guadalajara- Mexico

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Kirsty May 1, 2011 at 12:47 pm

Haha – it is true, although I am amazed at how much English these kids can speak (and write in some cases)
Plus they are amazingly cute!!!!! One announced, whilst teaching them healthy unhealthy food, Teacher, Manning no like pineapple…. she is four!!!!!

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Anthony May 1, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Congratulations on getting the teaching job. This maybe an option for us when we go back to SEA. We love Thailand so much it would be easy to stay there and work.
Anthony´s last blog post ..Video Diaries- Catching The Bus In India

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Kirsty May 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm

It’s a great way to keep travelling and I am really enjoying Bangkok. It’s a great launching pad for the rest of SEA too!

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Heather May 3, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Kudos to you for going back in and teaching the second class! Regaining composure and doing it all over again couldn’t have been easy.

Hope the little ones are fun in the weeks to come — it’s a cute age!
Heather´s last blog post ..Time to Go Home

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Kirsty May 8, 2011 at 6:24 pm

Thanks it was a bit strange, but I just thought – what have I got to lose? I have already failed miserably, the only way is up!!!!

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Bluegreen Kirk May 4, 2011 at 3:21 am

You know the saying if at first you dont succeed! You were just suited for a different age group. At least they give you another chance.
Bluegreen Kirk´s last blog post ..Shake Your Mane To The Songs Of The Lion King On Broadway

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Kirsty May 8, 2011 at 6:25 pm

Yeah I am so glad they did, really enjoying the work 🙂

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Annie May 6, 2011 at 6:12 am

Yay! Congrats Kirsty!

I know how you feel, my first time ever teaching was with beginning level students (but they were older than me!!) and it was a mess! I’m glad to hear that it went better the second time around. Enjoy your summer teaching!
Annie´s last blog post ..What happens when you know too much

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Kirsty May 8, 2011 at 6:26 pm

Thanks, it’s strange realising that you are talking and not one person in the room understands what you are going on about – it’s amazing how many different ways I have come up with to try and explain different words!!!

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Lindsay May 6, 2011 at 4:38 pm

It’ll keep getting easier and easier!

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Kirsty May 8, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Thanks Lindsay – I’m really enjoying it so far 🙂

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Mike Lenzen | Traveled Earth May 9, 2011 at 9:17 am

Congratulations.
Mike Lenzen | Traveled Earth´s last blog post ..Traveling in Your Own Hometown – A Pat LePoidevin House Concert

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Rebecca May 11, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Congratulations! It’s a tough gig and I think you did well – I would have had NO idea what to do!
Rebecca´s last blog post ..Walking with giants- A day with elephants in Chiang Mai

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joe November 17, 2011 at 4:37 pm

Congrats! 🙂 Hope you get the full time contract too.

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Poi November 21, 2011 at 10:13 pm

Thanks

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