I have survived a week of orientation! How to compare with TLG’s orientation? Very different, but in the end, the same animal. TLG’s orientation was longer, both in number of days as well as in hours per day. There were a few methodology classes, language classes, culture classes, and another one that I can’t remember. The most useful of these classes was the language and culture, or so I have been told (I was actually fairly sick with food poisoning during most of orientation). The methodology courses were a joke, because we never were able to use anything that we were shown.
In Prague, we had only methodology classes. While these classes were actually very useful, it was really only new information for the first hours of two of the four days. After two demo lessons, three videos about the methodology and numerous activities, most of us felt fairly confident in what was expected of us as teachers and would have liked to continue on to our regions to actually learn our schedules and begin to plan.
In Georgia, we were supposed to be teachers, through this program, we are meant to be performers and entertainers. We are supposed to make English fun, interesting, and as natural and similar to learning the mother tongue as possible. I am rather excited about the numerous materials as well as support that is available to me through this program. The only thing now is, I would like to get my schedule!
A sudden change in an English teachers family member in the US (she went home, and rightly so) caused an upheaval in my regions scheduling and planning. They were suddenly a teacher short and everything is taking longer to reorganize and finalize for the school year, which starts in two days!
In general, orientations always seem to end up being too long. In both orientations I felt that there was a lot of flogging of a dead horses involved. A lot of discussion about time management and the time being managed very poorly during the training.