Ready for summer!

Ever since I got back from my vacation in Ecuador, I’ve been working full-time at Stafford House and I’m really having a good time. Last week I replaced one of my colleagues and it was perfect to get back in the work routine. I’m very glad that I made the decision to work full-time at Stafford House because I’m a lot more at ease here and my colleagues are as nice in the morning as they are in the afternoon. Sometimes I still have to get used to all the students I don’t know, especially because there are ten times more students here than at LaL and in the afternoon they have a wider choice of modules, so many of them are never in my class.
Last week I had a short meeting with Jon, my boss, to figure out my schedule  for the next couple of weeks. As it happens the student administration department is understaffed so for the near future I’m helping out there as well as teaching. Right now upper management is quite stressed because ACCET is coming at the end of June and we are also expecting a lot of students for the summer. ACCET is a company that gives language schools their accreditation, which allows the school to issue student visas. This is super important because without this accreditation we would have around 15 students in our full-time program instead of 130. Every couple of years they pay the school a visit, making sure we comply with all the prerequisits that are expected of an accredited school.
Summer is also a very busy time for language schools because so many people have vacation and come to improve their English for a couple of weeks and we need to be ready for when they come. Every week in July we already have between 10 and 35 students arriving so summer will be busy!
Helping out in administration is definitely interesting and ofcourse it’s a good way to earn some extra money.
Apart from administration I am still teaching. In the morning I teach business English for an hour and a half to a very nice Brazilian woman who works at IBM. It’s something entirely new for me but I have a good book and because it’s just the two of us, I have some time to get into the subject. In the afternoon I teach a module on conversation skills to low-level students and three times a week I give private lessons to a student who’s been studying English since March but still has a lot of issues introducing himself. Stafford House was nice enough to offer him these lessons so he makes at least some progress during his stay here. I’ve taught him twice now and I have the impression he’s not stupid but very shy. He is afraid to make mistakes, which hinders his speaking, which is the best way to make progress at such a low level. He doesn’t like admitting he doesn’t understand something and in a group of 7 these things can go unnoticed but in these one on one sessions that is ofcourse impossible. Plenty of repetition and patience here are key!
In the evening I still teach my level five (B2 according to the Common European Framework of Reference) and I’m really enjoying myself. I’ve taught the whole book before so I’m a lot more comfortable with the material, know what generally causes problems and where I can expand. I only have three students left from my previous six-week session and it’s very nice to see they are head and shoulders above the others when it comes to speaking. I hope my other student will be this fluent in acouple of weeks. I also have a very good mix of nationalities so everyone speaks English automatically and it keeps things interesting.
This weekend I have a long weekend thanks to Memorial Day on Monday so I’m definitely going to enjoy it!  If car rates aren’t too crazy I might drive down to Pennsylvania and visit my dad’s AFS family and if they are, I’ll find something else to do!
What are your plans for the weekend?


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