Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Managing Chaos

My ESL class started again last night. There is a new woman in charge of the entire program and things were quite unorganized when I showed up to teach. I usually try to get there a half hour early so that I can set up, get my thoughts together, and get the computer lab ready for my students. The lead teacher hadn’t yet arrived, and already there was a line of prospective students who were interested in adding into the classes late. We did not have any rosters of who was in what class, there was no waiting list set up for people to sign up on, and there was no one there with placement tests, so that we could place the prospective students into levels.

The lead teacher showed up a few minutes before class was supposed to start, clutching just one copy of the roster. There are three teachers at our site, for the three levels that we teach – Basic, Intermediate, and Advanced. The roster was not sorted by placement test score, so you had to hunt around to figure out who belonged in which classes. Both the lead teacher and the other teacher were new to the site and were still unsure of which levels they were going to teach.

So, I guess I kinda had to take charge. Luckily I’ve been doing this for a full year and had a handle on what scores needed to go to what class. I had to write out the class lists (really quickly) for everyone. We took down the new folks’ names on the waiting lists, but let them go into whatever levels they wanted. There usually are a few no shows during the first week, so this wasn’t a huge problem for class size. The two other teachers finally decided what levels they wanted to each, and then I went and pointed everyone to the correct classes. I guess I just get agitated at such chaos, especially when there are a lot of other people who need help and have no clue either – SOMEBODY has to take charge and do something, if only to let the students know that we aren’t complete idiots.

Once classes started, I was very happy with my group of students. They seem to work well together, and are a pretty easy going group. Now I just have to see if there is going to be another teacher who can take over on Thursday nights . . . my original team teacher can’t do it this semester, and while I can do two nights a week for a while, any longer than two weeks and I am just going to go bonkers – teaching takes a lot of time and energy and even just doing it once a week, I’m pretty wiped out.

Cross your fingers that I get a sub for Thursday nights!

1 comment:

Virginia Gal said...

Good for you Random Kath - to take charge, I do the same thing when surrounded by chaos. I can't stand disorganization!