Saturday, November 27, 2010

Upper Intermediate, here I come!

The dynamics of schools are always changing, due to factors such as enrollment, graduates and teachers coming and going.  Language schools are even more prone to change.  At my school, we usher students through many course levels each year.  The students with the least amount of English start out as Elementary students, then (hopefully) move up to Pre-Intermediate, Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate and then Pre-Faculty, throughout the course of the year (or several years!).  Each course lasts 8 weeks, and if the students pass a cumulative assessment at the end of the course they can move up to the next level.

I taught Elementary students for the last course.  Because most of the students were estimated to pass the course, my Teaching Unit was predicted to be teaching Pre-Intermediate and then Elementary repeater students (those who do not pass a level must sit the course again and again until they pass).  So, everyone in my TU is planning a course for a Pre-Intermediate level...I had the assignment of writing the course map.

Because the number of students fluctuate at each level until all the results of the tests are finalized, teachers can be shifted to other units up until the morning that classes start.  We know that some people could be leaving our lovely, friendly TU, but we don't know who.  So, we're working away until 3:00...when it was announced the 5 members of our TU are leaving.  And I'm one of them.  To say that I liked my TU is an understatement...I LOVED this TU.  Everyone was warm, friendly and helpful, often going out to lunch together.  To illustrate how much of a change this is, I must illustrate how massive this school actually is.  Imagine the whole school as a school district...each TU consists of about 12 teachers and one Head of Teaching Unit, so each TU is actually like a small school.  I literally just got shipped from Croft Elementary school to Miramichi Valley (to put it in Miramichier terms).

I'm in a different building (although, I must admit, it's a MUCH nicer building) in a different office (again, much nicer) teaching a different course (it looks interesting, actually) to different students (they will be very, very competent in English - these are very advanced students).  So, it's actually a pretty good deal, save for the fact that it's change and I'm leaving behind a very lovely, comfortable environment.

I start on Monday with students who I am hoping are just as lovely as my last students...Upper I come!


  1. Kirbie...Great news. Sounds exciting. Have a great day on Monday and good luck with your new students. Love MOM

  2. Good luck, Kirbie! I know you will do great!

  3. Kirbie, I know you will do great. You are a born leader and educator. Students will be proud to have you in their classroom. Hope you have a great first week. They are always the toughest. Love Ya! Jill

  4. Thank you, girls! I'm excited to teach new students...I hear behaviour is bad in the upper levels but it certainly can't be worse than the students in London, or certain middle schools in Miramichi :)
    I'm trying to get familiar with the course books, since I'm not familliar with this level at all...will let you know how it goes :)