Thursday, March 25, 2010

Almost the weekend!

So it is Thursday evening, and my landlord was supposed to come by around 7:30 or 8 so that I could pay my rent.  He is "running a bit late", and so now he will be stopping by at 10:30 or 11 instead.  Gotta love Chilean schedules and concepts of punctuality.

So when I got to school this week, the language lab was still not ready for the students.  This means that we were once again teaching the classes that we taught last week.  Erin and I had prepared for this, and so we played Jeopardy and Simon Says with the classes.  Luckily these two things filled each of the 2 hour classes.  There was still outrageous behavior (a student almost stabbing another student in the face with a pen and a fight almost breaking out since we weren't able to understand what the kids were saying to each other), and so I gave our program director a call.

Long story short, I talked with the people at school and asserted myself.  I told them that I couldn't teach these classes without a school official in the room since it was is not supposed to be done since I am not a credentialed teacher in Chile, and I also told them that it is a violation of my contract to be teaching classes as it is.  The program is intended for us to help the English teachers in their classroom and possibly teach a bit there, but not on our own.  After some resistance they got the classes taken care of so I wouldn't be stuck alone with the classes.

I also wrote an email to the English director of the network of schools in the program, and I told her how I felt like I was being treated unfairly and being taken advantage of.  In essence I have been doing the job of a full time Chilean teacher without getting any of the compensation that they would get if they had covered the classes.  I got a call from her a few hours later, and she was very apoligetic and told me that she agreed with 100 percent of what I wrote about.  She is contacting the school to be sure that it doesn't happen again and making sure that things are sorted out from this point forward.

I was really upset about this situation, but I am so glad that it is working itself out.  This weekend I am off to Valparaiso (Valpo for short) to get away from Santiago for a bit and enjoy a relaxing weekend.  Valpo is called the San Francisco of South America and is supposed to be very colorful and artsy, so that will be fun to see.

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