I finally got a chance to talk with Randy yesterday. It made me feel better and worse at the same time. He said the students like creative projects, which means I can use the ideas I had from earlier. But he also made it sound like discipline can be a big problem.
I'm truly nervous about getting the students to respect me. I keep thinking about Mrs. O'Neal. She was my English teacher in high school and my favorite teacher ever. She's the first teacher I can remember that made me feel like an adult and an individual and not just "a student". I want to make my students feel that way. I hope if I am straight forward, honest, patient, and show them that I respect them, they will do the same for me. I don't know what I'll do if I can't keep control of my class. I can't imagine myself being a hard-ass and I don't want to spend so much time punishing them that we don't have time to learn. Worst of all, I don't want them to ignore me or treat me like nothing.
I keep getting mixed messages from the administration. One woman said I didn't need to write a lesson plan because she'll write it (we are both teaching english. she's teaching grammer and reading, I'm teaching speaking and writing). Then another woman asked me to turn in my lesson plan today.
I wrote up a lesson plan for the first week of class that includes a warm-up, a class exercise, and homework for each day. I hope that's what they mean. Other than that I've been writing up ideas for projects both in and out of class.
For example, create your own product. Write a letter to the CEO of the company you work for explaining about your product and what it can do. Then the students can either design the product (or the packaging it comes in) or perform a commercial for it. Sound interesting?
At times I feel like my only worthwhile trait to this school is that my native language is English. I know, I know...that IS my main selling point, but I need to prove that I can be a good teacher too.
(I hope I hope I hope I hope I hope)
P.S. Someone else in the office received international mail using the school address in English, so feel free to write the address on any and all mail sent in English. I updated the address in the post "HOW TO CONTACT ME".