Friday, September 07, 2001

Crazy Woman and Teaching

It's been quite a week. Very very busy, but very fun. I spent 20 hours teaching, a few hours eating, many hours making lesson plans, and roughly 5 hours a night sleeping. No time for leisure. Our director has decided to hire another teacher because it's too much for us right now. I'm exhausted, as is everyone else. She's hiring Prissy's identical twin sister, who should be here by October (we hope).

Our school is one of the best English language schools in Prague. Each student is required to sign a contract before they can begin classes. This process occurs on the first day of school. They are given a tour of the building, given their books, and they read and sign the contract.

We have a problem with one woman, who has been rude to the director since the first time she met her, and would not sign the contract. She had a problem with one point which said, "if you attend classes for 1 month you pay 7500 crowns, if you attend for 3 months you pay such-and-such amount" and refused to sign. She wanted the contract to be changed for her. Well, the director cannot do that, and politely told her she would return her money and find another school for her to attend. This occurred on Monday. The next day, this woman returned to the school and went into class. Our director went up to her and asked her to please come out and talk with her so they could resolve this issue. The woman said "Ne!" which means "no." So the director called the police, who came and convinced the woman to leave. Then the next day, she came again, only this time we had a friend of ours, not connected with the school, standing in the door, with our school secretary behind him, blocking this lady's path. She tried to push her way around him for probably five minutes while students had to be let in under his arm. The director had called the police as soon as she showed up, so they came up (the police station is downstairs in our building) and made her leave. But she said she would
keep coming back until the school presses charges against her. It's a completely nonsensical situation, and this woman is clearly insane. She came back the next day, and one of the other students helped our secretary keep her out of the school until the police came up to make her leave (actually, that was today, like I've said a lot has happened this week). The woman has now threatened to bring a news crew with her and attempt to ruin the reputation of the school. She went to the Department of Education to report us as well (for what, I don't know).

On another note, classes have been extremely fun. For once in my life I'm actually being challenged by something, and it's great. My favorite class is my group of beginners. I have 8 classes with them, and it's so much fun. They've caught on quickly since the first day of blank stares, and we laugh a lot in our class. Today I showed them a picture of my house, and a picture of my family. They enjoyed that immensely. I had them write something about my house. Their sentences were basic, but they did a good job. They wrote things like "your house is big", "it has large veranda", "House lies in Tennessee", "His house is blue", and "The house is in garden". It was very amusing.

In addition to the beginners, I have 6 classes with one group of intermediates, 4 classes with another group of intermediates, and 2 classes with my group of advanced students. I'll be tutoring a family starting next week, which should be interesting to say the least. I'll be going to their home around 5:00 Thursday evening and leaving around 9:00 in the evening. They will be feeding me and we'll go over lessons.