To my mild surprise i was fired on Friday. The Director of Studies, a machine-like American woman with shiny teeth, said i wasn’t progressing fast enough. i was so glad to be free of the company “method” and Business English that i accepted without argument. i had expected to be fired at some point but not so quickly. The trigger seems to have been a lesson i gave on Thursday – which the American observed – where i used the wrong version of the textbook, and so had to improvise a great deal.. i had thought the old & new versions differed only in their illustrations, but i discovered that some of the texts were different. i think this, added to my general air of baffled incompetence, did for me. The lesson itself wasn’t bad but the company are all about their “method” – improv is definitely not encouraged, whether it works or not.

Although this leaves me in a foreign country with no job, no money, and no German, i feel lucky, i feel i am exactly where i should be, flung into uncertainty and chaos. From talking to the other teachers i doubt i could have lasted here more than a few months – all businesses are money-making machines, but this one is particularly ruthless, well-organised, and heedless of human snags, knots, baffles, and redoubts. i’ve observed six teachers and the best told me she’d been told off by the American “for not sticking to the lesson plan”; the last time i saw her she said she felt sick before each lesson – and she was a gifted teacher.

i’m teaching here one more week then i’m going to try to get private students. i shall try leaving ads in the equivalent of the student union, presuming there is one. If i can make enough money to cover my rent, i’ll stay another month, and so on – play it month by month. If October brings me no hope i’ll probably return to Blighty in shame, though i’m as yet unsure where i could live, and i know i can’t get a non-crappy job over there. A friend has suggested Geneva, so i may go there instead. i am extremely keen not to return to England.

i enjoyed teaching the two private students i was given a fortnight ago, so perhaps that will offer a better ‘career’. i feel awkward and unbalanced before groups, especially with Business English, which i regard as an almost total waste of time. We’ll see how things work out – without a job, without funds, speaking about 10 words of German – that is clearly the right place to be, that is the uncertainty and difficulty i need, to change, to become a proper warlord and shape the 21st Century in my image.

Like Hitler on the streets of Munich i have only my non-existent talent, a Messianic belief in my destiny, and a love of large German dogs. And as with Hitler, that may just be enough.

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