First of all, I can’t say it’s going badly. My colleagues are great and the vibe at the school is very positive. I think I can say with confidence that my students are learning things in English. They’re good kids. I’m learning my way around the school—how to give punishments, how to talk to the students when things aren’t going well, who to talk to about what, etc.
Which isn’t to say that things aren’t tricky. With post-bac, I operated on the assumption that these were young adults I was talking to, and if they didn’t do their work, that was their problem, they saw the consequence in their grades. As long as they didn’t disrupt the class (extremely rare), this attitude worked well.
Obviously, that doesn’t work in secondary school, and I knew that going in. Figuring out where to set limits, how to be stern with them but still be true to my personality, how hard to push them, all seem like a delicate balancing act. I feel certain that I’ll be much, much better at this job in one, two, four years.