Self employment: The Good

I realize that I am not always the best human being walking the globe. I don’t expect to be. Frankly, I done alright with my mediocrity. But there are at times moments when I realize that everyone is reacting to something and I seem to be reacting in a very different way. My first dose…

Some more thoughts on ESL

I’ve realized that I have not written about ESL in some time. Well, I should change that. For anyone who may need to get caught up, in October of 2017 I left the most lucrative job I ever had because I was frankly, sick of being an ESL teacher, and wanted to do something more…

Offending someone’s honor

The school I work at is a joke. And because everyone who works there knows it is a joke (particularly the administrators), the students are allowed to do whatever they want. Obviously this is to the annoyance of the teachers, who fruitlessly complain to the uncaring administrators. But to what extent the administrators let the…

Students – and shitty schools

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know what my opinion on the students I get. This didn’t really change when I moved back to the United States. Every good or stupid thing about students when I was in China is bad here as well. It’s a lot of different shades of…

I have no mouth and I must scream

Think this is a book review? Well, you’re wrong. The ruse is only because I sometimes find myself thinking this phrase when I am in class. That’s how torturous some of these classes can be for me. Allow me to elaborate with a play by play of a class I recently had. I am for…

The great ESL social engineering conspiracy theory.

I am going to put on a aluminum helmet for this one. It isn’t just a safety precaution, it’s a fashion statement. But I should elaborate that, just like everything else in this blog, the ultimate end of this is mostly just to shit on China. What can I say, it’s a day that ends…

How not to teach ESL: The Chinese room

The fact that I teach in China is purely serendipitous to the title. The title refers to John Searle’s famous thought experiment, the Chinese room. The thought experiment is meant to illuminate the impossibility of AI. It does so by asking ourselves whether a program that simply responds to commands could ever be said to…

On one year of teaching classes at my school

And I promise that this is the last of these ‘Year in review’ posts. I hope at least that this one will be brief. I will not nominate my school by name, though anyone with half a brain could piece it together from my posts. But no one reads this blog, so I am pretty…

Getting trolled in class

If I am to be perfectly honest, I would say that my students at work fall into a perfect bell-curve when it comes to their performance and outcome. It isn’t particularly better or worse than the students I would find in other countries. As expected, most students come in, are able to do the work, don’t really…

Goodbye ESL writing

Everything I have written under the ESL tag has been shit or shit talking. And I guess this is either because I have no talent for it or, much more likely, I simply don’t give a shit. I was hoping to write two ESL posts a month, but I am realizing that this is very…

Preferring Beginners Part 2

When you see an advanced class on your schedule you flat-out give up before even trying. I keep harping back to this ridiculous point my former boss made to me, about how more seasoned teachers refer to teach beginner classes. While I agree with it more and more, my conclusion seems to always go back…

Listening comprehension

The other day a staff member at work came to me to mention that they were unsure what level to place a new student in. I would be having that student for a class later that evening and could I please give them my .02c. Sure. So I got to the class and I find that…