Friday, October 03, 2008

My Job - My Home

A typical day begins when my purchased in Mexico alarm clock makes its  imitation church bell chiming sounds.  It's 6 a.m.

Because it's dark outside and I can't take a bath because my bathroom  only has a shower I think perhaps I should just retire so that I can sleep as long as I want.

By 6:15 I'm up and feeling like there is a chance I can "do the day." 

There are many English teachers in Mexico who would envy my shower with it's hot water and excellent water pressure.  But, I miss not having a bath tub.

I'm ready for work by 7:30.  Between 7:30 and 7:45 I'm driven to the maquiladora where I give my first class of the day.  Yes, you've read correctly.  Many an English teacher needs to bus around their Mexican city.  Not me,  I'm driven to my destination. 

My early morning class is small and poorly attended.  I teach English to well qualified, well paid lawyers and accountants in a glass walled meeting room that looks out on the most beautiful view in Chihuahua. I hope to remember to bring my camera some day soon so that I can share the view with the readers of my blog.  I enjoy the people in my class, but it would be nice if they were a little more reliable.

At around 9:15 I'm picked up and driven back to the school.   The school is my living working environment. 

From 10 am until 11:15 a.m Tuesday to Friday a Spanish instructor comes to the school to give us Spanish lessons.  Three teachers, including myself, are true beginners.  

On Mondays at 11 a.m. there is a staff meeting,  so far our meetings have gone smoothly.  One of our tasks at the meetings is to plan meals for our housekeeper/cook to prepare.  She prepares dinner Monday to Thursday.  I can only contribute one suggestion, beans and rice.  Mostly we eat traditional Mexican food. 

My time is my own until 4 p.m.  Since I'm not familiar with the curriculum I spend a lot of my spare time studying, preparing lesson plans and finding or creating materials I want to use to teach my students. 

I have two late afternoon/evening classes.  From 4 p.m. until 5 p.m. I teach seven children between the ages of seven and twelve.  They are all very well behaved and seem to like me a lot.  Although there are learning objectives that must be met, there are a lot of games, projects, music and stories during class.

The children don't speak English, other than what I've taught, and am teaching them.  And I speak very little Spanish  It's a challenge for all of us.  But we're having a good time.

At 5 p.m. Monday to Thursday the teachers sit down to dinner.  There are six teachers and two directors.  The directors are teachers/owners/directors.  Three teachers, myself included, live at the school. 

Monday to Thursday from 6 to 7:30,  I have my last class of the day.  This class, with twelve students, is at capacity.  Attendance is fairly good, punctuality is not.  

Friday there's no dinner, and no classes past the children's classes.  Those of us living at the school are free to eat leftovers. 

I need to work one Saturday a week from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  The scheduling of the Saturday shifts are another thing discussed at the staff meetings.

At 7:30 I watch the news on the internet.  The school has high speed internet and a router so I'm not deprived of internet access, nor is it costing me any money.  Life is good because I can not live without hight speed internet access.  I could have access to 100 channel satellite TV but I don't watch television.

On another blog entry I will write about my new Mexican friends and acquaintances and my travels around Chihuahua.


This is the veranda outside my bedroom.  The door and window that are in the picture are my door and window.  


This is the outdoor kitchen.

This is the outside of the school.  The name of the school where I work is called "Thinking in English."

It's a small privately owned language school.

It is owned by two young Americans, and I'm  by far and away the oldest person on staff.

It's quite a change from my old life.

Viva Mexico.  

A picture of the shed in our inner courtyard.  

I took this photo because of the beautiful old pots we rescued from under the stairs.  

If only I could remember to water my plants.  I guess I'm not much of a gardener anymore.  Tomorrow first thing I'm going outside to check on them.

This is my shared kitchen.  

We are given money each week for breakfast, which for me is simply toast and jam, perhaps a banana.  But, I've been drinking tons of orange juice.  I've been buying my own and writing "Oreen's do not touch" on the container.  Then thinking I'm being a little too harsh, I added "Please."

I tried to upload a photo of my classroom but blogger is running slow, or my internet connection is slow, I don't know what the problem is.

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