On Monday morning I was pleased to see that the one student I was meant to be teaching today was actually two because it’s always more fun with two as you can build more chemistry/ a better relationship, do more interesting tasks and play better games. Also, they are aged 20 and 17 and have very good English so I will finally be teaching some “real” English, with complex vocabulary and grammar! This is good, as I am going to have them for 10 hours a week from now on!
My kindergarten classes are definitely proving a bore but they are only for 1.5 hours so I can’t really complain and I am off tomorrow. One of my least favourite things about teaching kids is the easiness of it. You basically play games and drill pronunciation the whole time, with no real grammar needed.
I think I have finally convinced my friend from home to come out here as a teacher…. He is supposed to be quitting his job tomorrow but is very indecisive. We shall see!
I had my second Vietnamese lesson today, they are extremely challenging. Firstly you need to remember the tones/ pronunciation, then remembering the actual words themselves which don’t sound anything like anything you’ve ever heard before, then all the status’ for each person. It’s a nightmare! Then there’s the fact that my teacher is not actually a teacher and she gets annoyed with me when I can’t do it right first time and expects me to pick it up straight away! It is good however, as there is a lot of pressure to learn it, and she is giving me a test next week of all the basic conversation, including numbers, questions and answers. I’ll be fluent in no time!!
One of my best friend’s told me today that he is going to come and visit me in Vietnam!! This is amazing. We’ve been looking at flights and he’s thinking of taking 10 days holiday to come and see me for two weeks, at the beginning of September. The flights are surprisingly cheap. I am so unbelievably excited. When you move halfway across the world to the complete un-known, there is nothing like the thought of having a friendly face from home show up on your doorstep to experience your strange new world. My sister and her boyfriend are also planning a possible trip out here in August which would be awesome! The only annoying thing is that I can’t have ANYONE stay over at my house because I live on the school premises. This is very annoying, but I can’t complain when the accommodation I’m getting is free!
I spent most of the morning trying to sort out my CRB (police check). I discovered that my boss is right, and I can’t actually work in Vietnam legally without a work permit, and this has always been the case, but the law has suddenly become much more enforced due to illegal Chinese immigrant workers. However, I still don’t see why I can’t be given a contract by the school or told when/ how much holiday I can take before getting the work permit. My boss said I should wait until I sign the contract, after giving her all the paperwork in October/ November until I book my flights home for Christmas. This is not going to happen as I can get a return from London to Hanoi for £480 right now, which will not be the case in November! I will email her and tell her that 1) I am booking my flights 2) I want a contract with the school until I am given the work permit, even though I’m not on salary and 3) I want to know what the terms and conditions of my contract will be, e.g. holiday and salary, once they hand out the contracts to the other teachers. I do not want to wait until November to find out the details of my contract. This is all because I have agreed to stay on with the school for the next academic year, which begins in September. I was only meant to be in Vietnam for six months but it has me hooked…
I spoke to my colleague and he thinks he can get a friend of a friend in a high place within the Vietnamese Embassy to push my police check through early, otherwise I have to wait until I’ve been in the country for six months! (He has a Vietnamese wife and is an ex lawyer so has a lot of connections! It’s all about who you know in Vietnam…) As soon as I have the police check, I can begin to process my permit.
I went for dinner with friends from work and it was great to know that I will have these colleagues around for the whole year. We then met with my pen friend and her girlfriend and sat gossiping about fifty shades of Grey and it’s affect on women and their relationships, while drinking Beer Hoi in the street!
My Friday classes are definitely the naughty ones. They are the older ones, and so much more confident, and so therefore don’t stop talking and getting out of their seats, but they still don’t understand much English so disciplining them is very difficult. At the end of one class today they all got up, ran over to my laptop and started pressing all the buttons. I shouted at them and they carried on so I literally went ballistic at them. The teacher heard and came over, and I was pleased to see that she actually disciplined them, making them all sit in silence and shouting at the main culprits. Win!