Number one for English language teachers

Willow Vanderbosch

At the time of writing this diary, Willow lived and worked in a hotel resort complex in the Maldives.

Related articles

  • Grrr! I'm a tiger

    Author: Willow Vanderbosch Type: Reference material

    Today's lessons focused on the use of past simple. The first class of the night is my favorite: the engineering and gardening department. The most notable figures in the class are the coconut climber - a large, western-sized thirty-something local with a boyish face, Mr. Mobile (he answered his mobile in class and was ever after dubbed, "Mr. Mobile" by his work/ classmates) and Mr. Dhivehi - who only speaks in Dhivehi although he understands English.

  • Exam time

    Author: Willow Vanderbosch Type: Reference material

    As the class entered, I was playing Bebel Gilberto softly in the background. I could hear the confusion and questions about the music even through the language barrier. Finally Mr. Mobile pointed to the ceiling with a troubled look in his eye and I said, “Yes, it’s music. I thought it might help you relax during the test.” He nodded with understanding. I asked the class if they preferred silence or music, and Gardener D laughed his jolly old St. Nicholas kind of laugh ...

  • The honeymoon is over

    Author: Willow Vanderbosch Type: Reference material

    Four days into classes, my first day was spent searching for a table solution since I am no longer in the meeting room, but meeting in the employee TV lounge. Everyone I asked for advice was not only supremely unhelpful, but actually went to great length to complain to me about my problem. Now, if I am not complaining about my problems, I certainly do not expect nor welcome others complaining about them. The island chief said that I could take tables from the canteen. I took his advice ...

  • Yo, Ho Me Hearties!

    Author: Willow Vanderbosch Type: Reference material

    The latest request from the management was marked high priority. The launch section was to learn a new safety speech down to the last man. To complicate things, some of the guys can’t read a word of English.Class time

  • Tsunami

    Author: Willow Vanderbosch Type: Reference material

    December 26, 2004 found me in Indonesia. I was on holiday visiting a former student in Bintan. Christmas night was fabulous and long and in a sleepless daze we were enjoying a lazy day. We were getting henna tattoos when one of us received a text message that my resort was flooded knee deep. “Why? Is it raining?” We didn’t understand. An hour later I got a panicked phone call from a co-worker. She was the only one with my contact number and her best mate Joe was traveling with me. The ...

  • My song

    Author: Willow Vanderbosch Type: Reference material

    Due to the lack of tourists following the tsunami, I’ve had a lot more requests for classes and have upped my already full class load by another 10 teaching hours a week. I know better than to do this. In fact I had resolved not to do this again. As I knew it would, within a couple of weeks this has taken a pretty severe toll on my energy, mental health and spiritual well-being. For those students that are eager and work hard, I am committed to working hard as well, ...

  • Pets are not for eating!!

    Author: Willow Vanderbosch Type: Reference material

    Communication is one of my main focuses. As a break from the normal English class, I like to do communication games like “Talk About…” which require the student to talk about whatever subject he lands on, and then all of the students in his group must ask one question about whatever he talked about. There are always a number of words that become vocabulary. When they come across a word they don’t know, we all stop and talk about it until they feel satisfied that they ...

  • Teaching perks

    Author: Willow Vanderbosch Type: Reference material

    It is a wonderful feeling, to know your teaching is effective and appreciated. Many times in my teaching career, I felt frustrated because the only feedback I got was negative. Admittedly, I only received about two comments a year out of about 300 students, but I always felt frustrated that the only feedback was negative. I was sure I was doing a good job (or there would have been a lot more complaints). We all need positive along with the negative to maintain balance ...

  • Whatever doesn't kill you

    Author: Willow Vanderbosch Type: Reference material

    My job is huge. I’m trying to set up a school that can be run by one teacher/ administrator/ director of studies. Something that is self-explanatory and self-supporting. I have approximately 200 students on two islands that all receive 2 classes a week from me. I’ve managed to cut this into only about 30 classes a week - which is very high volume teaching, especially if you are the one to do all of the reports, scheduling, and developing a syllabus/action plan which includes having ...

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