I would feel ill with anxiety every time I had to do a “spontaneous demo” for a new teaching job. Couldn’t I just turn around and walk out? Not an option. Demos should be a piece of cake when it comes to ESL teaching. This is true when there is some preparation time included. For the less experienced teacher, such as myself, an on-the-spot demo is a daunting task.
Most schools require teaching demonstrations before hiring. I thought subbing was an exception to this rule, but alas – a demo is involved. Maybe I was naive at the time.
I was funemployed and I needed extra hours, so I went in search of temporary work. I found a potential subbing gig at one of the better schools and subsequently met with the manager, “Ken”. We had a nice little chat and I thought that I could leave afterwards. No, it wasn’t going to happen. I was asked the inevitable question. This demo was to take place in the next few minutes.
Nonchalantly, Ken walks into the other teacher’s class, to notify him that I will teach his kids for a short while. So I follow him into the classroom, with this sea of kids. Maybe that’s an exaggeration – there were about 20 kids. Twenty too many at that stage! We’re talking 11 or 12 year olds – the tough crowd.
In the middle of the classroom, he handed me a book. I glanced through the pages allocated, my heart beating faster with every passing minute. I had 2 minutes to skim through it. Absolute silence. Short of walking out, there was not much that could be done.
I had to wing this one, and wing it I did. I worked with what I had, which wasn’t much, but I made it work and I got the job. Not only did I get that job, but I was also offered a permanent position later on. All I needed to do was breathe and get on with it – there was no room for doubt.
Sometimes you just have to ride the wave.