Saturday, July 5, 2014

The End of Chapter Three

Hey folks! Been a while since I've blogged, so I thought I'd provide a little update from the Golden Land. It feels like I'm finishing up 'Chapter 3' of my time here, dating from the end of the long vacation to now, here on the 4th of July. Monday, I'm heading off to Bangkok for my semi-monthly overnight visa run, and I begin teaching some additional classes after next week, so it's a time of transitions, new beginnings.

Unfortunately, my chill period teaching 6 hours a week ended several weeks back. I knew it would. I've been assigned two new classes, so I'm up to a respectable 18 hours. Keep in mind that each teaching hour requires about half to three quarters of that time preparing, and with various other duties, I am again working full time.

My first new class was given to me after a new teacher with our company did a runner. He'd been here a week, decided Myanmar was more than he wanted to handle and bailed. Although he'd signed a one year contract, I guess that's kinda hard to enforce when you've fled to another country. Particularly at the start, this place is a really tough place to be, and maybe due to his lofty expectations or maybe just because he was a bit of a pussy, the new teacher ran away back to Dubai, Bangkok, Istanbul or wherever he'd come from (he was a long time TEFL teacher) unable or unwilling to hack it here in the wild frontier land of Yangon.

In a way, his decision highlights an aspect of my new career that I really like. With my certification and growing experience, I can go anywhere in the world and teach. I'm approaching my time here as if I expect to be here two to three years, but if something better comes up, who knows what I might do? I work in probably the biggest labor market in the entire world, namely, anywhere in the world where English is a foreign language.

It's sort of a built in job security.

I've really liked my new classes too, despite their unfortunate timing. The first of these new classes was my introduction to corporate teaching. Twice a week, in the evening (after my 7 AM class in the morning), I visit the clients' office, in this case a major telecommunications firm here in Yangon. I teach them in their facilities which works out well because they're more relaxed and surrounded by colleagues they know. Their English skills aren't much, if any, better than other classes I've taught, but they are more enthusiastic and engaged in learning. Teaching a group whose into it is far more enjoyable and easy for me, the teacher.

My other new class, again taking over for another teacher whose been given another assignment, is an advanced business English class. Again, a whole new experience. These folks are almost fluent, and what I'm teaching is just as much a business class as it is an English class. Fortunately, the resource books are rich and detailed. I've done some time in the business world; I've worked in an office. I've held titles like 'sales manager' and 'merchant', but I'm no MBA. My depth of knowledge is limited. It's still fun. We get to play 'office' while learning English.

Outside of school, I've sorta developed a bit of routine. The rainy season does curtail my ability to get out and about a whole lot, so no new exciting adventures to report or videos to share. If you've followed my blog, you may have noticed that I've been writing less since getting the new TV. Yeah, there is that.

I can't wait for Chapter Four to begin; may it be the best yet.


  1. You sound good. I'm glad you have such a positive attitude. Actually it was probably for the best that that guy left. It seems like life is hard enough there that it would be unbearable if you were not very commited. He might have had other options.

  2. I've gotten behind on reading blogs so I'm trying to catch up with you. I think it's fantastic the way you approach any assignment you're given with such enthusiasm.


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