Thursday, August 21, 2014

Act or Draw? See Me Teach (sorta)

This week marked the end of another 'intake period' at my employer, a medium sized English language school here in Yangon.  Some new classes begin; others end. Typically, on a last day, we just play games, have cake, talk about what had happened over the course of the 10 weeks and socialize.

As I think I've mentioned, I've been finding myself more and more being assigned to off-site corporate training.  I go to the clients' offices and teach there.  Yesterday, my first of these assignments ended with one of these 'closing parties'.  Sometimes, it's not easy being a game show host for X number of hours, particularly when you also have to think up which games to play and get them together.  That said, I enjoy creating my own games. They don't always work, and so I took this opportunity of end-of-term meaningless to play test a new game.

Well, it's not actually that new; I'm just combining the old tried-and-true TEFL games of pictionary and charades into one game.  After a rough start, it turned out to be fun and will now be part of my repertoire.

I also found it edifying to observe myself in front of a classroom on camera. A little bit of self-evaluation is important always.  I found I say the word 'okay' too much and sometimes my shirt tails aren't tucked in because I can't see them. Watch the video to the end to see all the really cool swag the grateful pupils piled on me. I got a little choked up.

In other news...

  • My back feels a little better, but when I went back for the follow up visit, the doctor explained that my symptoms were more consistent with a ruptured disk, not the bulging disk I thought I had before. Shit. Ruptured disks don't heal. Ever.  I'm undergoing some treatment to contain the problem, but that disk is ruptured for life. The doctor explained that if it became too painful, it would need to be surgically removed.  "You would have that done in your home country," the doctor went on.
  • I've finalized my plans for my week off in late September.
      Health permitting, I'm heading for Medan, Indonesia and the surrounding countryside of northern Sumatra.  Beautiful volcanic lakes, unspoiled rainforests, cool mountains and the friendly and welcoming people there are some of the great things I've heard about north Sumatra (I've never been there).  Best of all will be that it's in Indonesia, a country I know and love. I can't wait to be able to just walk down the street, speak and be understood by anyone I encounter. Haven't lived someplace I could do that for 18 months now...


  1. I think you were a major hit in the classroom. Sure sorry to hear about your back though. Hopefully they can control the pain for you and you feel good enough for your vacation.

  2. You really seemed to be getting into the teaching. Your students like you and hopefully are learning. I am proud. I will email later today. We are back in USA and have internet again.

  3. I'm so happy for you. Seeing this video reminded me of the great time I had when I taught ESL as a volunteer at my church. Hmmm... maybe I should look into teaching somewhere! The only trouble is, although I am certified, I do not have a university degree. Do you think this would be acceptable in Asia? Lynn

  4. Well done, your students sure seem to enjoy your teaching style!



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