Monday, May 08, 2006


There's a new full-time teacher at one of the places I work. He is replacing a WONDERFUL teacher who has now left, and I miss her terribly. That place has become less sane, suddenly, up on the top floor where all the full-timers reside.

There aren't many foreign teachers there, and I haven't met the new guy formally. I have only met him in passing. I spotted him on campus as I was leaving last week, and passed by, smiling and saying hello. I pretended to be in a hurry and did not stop. I'd heard too much about him that isn't very flattering.

However, I suspect he is the person who uses my last classroom on Mondays before I do. He does not wipe the board clean after using it. He sort of swipes at it, and leaves bits of words all over the place. The board is a mess when I go in. The reason I think it's him (I haven't actually checked) is that the words are all in English, and I have never seen that handwriting before. To be fair, it COULD be a different teacher, but I really don't think so.

When I go into this classroom the first thing I do is to wipe the horribly messy board clean, even if I am not going to use it. Someone is using the classroom after me, and I don't want to leave it unusable. Generally I don't notice what is on it. I am too pissed off with the inconsiderate person who left it looking like that.

But last week when I turned up I didn't do anything about it at first. A bit later I wanted to write something, turned, saw the mess, and sighed, and my students (I only have four in my last class) sympathized and tut-tutted as I wiped it clean. As I was wiping, I spotted two words that had been left intact. The first word was this:


I stopped when I got to it, and stepped back.

"Doesn't embarrassed have two esses?" I wondered, and saw that one of my students was already looking it up in her dictionary to find out what it meant.

"Yes," she said.

"Bad, BAD teacher!" I said, and went back to wiping. The students laughed.

Then I got to the next intact word:


I paused, thought, and then wiped it clean, fast. I didn't even want to THINK about what that guy had been teaching in his class, never mind the fact that of the two words left intact on the board, both were spelt wrongly.

Is our new teacher an ecstatic, embarrassed, dirty old man who can't spell?



Pkchukiss said...

Right here in Singapore, the students do the wiping of the board, but that's because the teachers do the moving between classes, not everyone.

kenju said...

Would it be nasty to report him? The dirty board is bad enough, but the incorrect spelling is inexcusable!

Robert said...

They'll make him dean, you watch!

One of our assistant principals sent a memo to the faculty about the new bell school, which was changed to let students know when they should quit "conversating" and move to class.

Badaunt said...

Pkchukiss: The teachers move around at this university too - but so do the students. It's all very silly. You'd think SOMEONE would get to stay where they were...

Kenju: It would be more trouble than it's worth. For one thing, nobody would care about his spelling, and for another, he is a 'guest' teacher, and it would be too rude for anybody to say anything to him, so nothing would come of it anyway.

Robert: That would be true if he was Japanese. But this guy is on a one year contract limited to one renewal - i.e. he will be gone in two years. It is the university's way of not having to deal with a permanent full-time foreigner who might get too uppity. They hire part-timers, and for full-timers they get people from overseas, for limited terms. That way they are guaranteed that no foreigner will learn enough about the crappy English-teaching system to complain, or enough power to start working on changing it.