I had always assumed that promotions were a good thing. You know – more money, more job freedom, more responsibility – all good stuff. And at the outset, my experiences matched my expectations. Starting as a full-time teacher, I then became a Cambridge Examiner, then a teacher training coordinator, and then a CELTA trainer. So far, so good.
Until… I became the Director of Studies. Sure there was a raise and a lot of job freedom but at what cost? An unwanted shift in my relationship with new teachers, getting up early every morning, dealing with unhappy students/parents, and worst of all, no teaching! While I still get to do teacher training and the occasional substitution, I never have a class of my own. Theoretically I could assign myself a class, but it would have to be on top of my regular work load and without pay. I love teaching but really…
Thankfully, I’ve got the go ahead to start an Action Research Group next January as our school plans to move into a much larger, newer building. This group (another teacher’s idea) will consist of volunteer students who come twice a week for an hour and a half. There will be no coursebook or preset syllabus and anyone can join in. In a wonderfully unilateral decision, I’ve made myself the teacher although others are welcome to teach a class if they are interested in experimenting with different methodologies, activities, or are just interested in doing a little research. The idea is that we then have staff presentations were we can share our experiences. For my part I would love to experiment more with Dogme without the institutional constraints we usually have in place.
So… if anyone has any wonderful ideas they would like to have trialed, please leave a comment and I would be happy to incorporate them into my lessons. I’m sure I’ll be ‘borrowing’ many of the ideas I’ve read about on the blogosphere as well as ones from my colleagues. Also, if anyone has any suggestions for how to make this experiment a success, I’m all ears!