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Thursday, July 21, 2016

You can call me Daron. Mister Daron.....

The surveys would have us believe that the top life-stress situation is the death of a loved one, closely followed by divorce and moving house, and with change of job still making it into the top 10. Technically change of job, at least in terms of life-stress, actually means losing ones job rather than voluntarily changing it. I guess I can see that.

With that in mind, having only just moved house in February of this year and losing Dad last year, you'd probably say that I could have picked a better time in which to voluntarily change my job too but, never one to shy away from a bit of masochism, I decided that now was in deed the right time to change my job and in April of this year I tendered my resignation to EF Swara.

EF have been my employers for the duration of my stay in Indonesia and were in fact the ones responsible for getting me to leave Thailand after receiving my CELTA. Having started as a teacher in 2009 I was soon promoted to Director of Studies where I then spent the next 6 generally-enjoyable years training teachers, interviewing students and teaching classes, amongst other things. Armed with this knowledge I guess you'd now understand how much of a difficult decision resigning was too.

Over the years a number of friends have extolled the virtues of working in a main school rather than an English academy. It was, they said, "the best move that they'd made...", professionally and financially, or it was "the next logical step..." as I "can't work for EF forever...", yet still I fought to stay in the position I'd worked up to. I did this partly because of the enjoyment of the job brought about by the diversity of students ages and experience, but mainly because my interest was always around teaching adults. Working in schools surely had it's attractions, but it would mean working with kids, and for a whole year of it at that!

So it was probably a helpful nudge or maybe it was more of a blinking indicator light when I started noticing the volume of unnecessary paperwork that I was spending my time doing - that kind of thing annoys me. This led me to reconsider those earlier converstaions with friends and look around at some of the other changes that were occurring, both in Swara as well as EF in Indonesia generally.

I understand that 'paperwork' in either its digital or hard-copy format is an essential part of a company's practices, It goes hand in hand with creating "best practice" and covering a company's backside in case of mistakes, but when the onus for completing that paperwork detracts from the time spent teaching, or traing people, then that's not good. So when that annoyance starts to eat at you to the point that it makes you unhappy, you have two choices; put up with it or, as the euphemism goes, spend more time with your family.

Now coincidentally it was the thought of spending more time with my wife, Yohana, that became the catalyst. Yohana sets off to work early and gets back home late afternoon whereas I had been starting late morning and, depending on classes, been finishing between 7.30 and 9pm. Changing to a school structure would mean that we could spend more time together as I'd be getting up before her and probably back before her too.

The chance to work in a Senior High School means essentially the best of all worlds. I teach young adults, I'm teaching literature, conversation, comprehension and structure and I get to enjoy the school system including the daily structures, facilities and of course the holidays.

The first few days have been a mixture of training, orientation and, as of today, teaching and while change always means freshness I find myself loving every minute of this. I miss my old colleagues and students, it would be weird if I didn't but the new guys here have made me feel so welcome and the students are a perfect joy to be in a classroom with. It's going to be a great year...

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