MIDWAY: It came my way

Teaching! What? Me? Language? I was completely stunned. How would I? I simply can’t. One of my relatives offered me the job of teaching English in his private institute. He asked me to take some language classes as it would improve my English as well as give me some money.

He knew me as an officer working in a project where he believes I get paid in dollars and work with foreigners. My grandfather was a peasant, my father followed suit and so would I. No one in my family has ever become a teacher. Teaching is not the sole problem; the toughest part is the lack of knowledge on the subject.

I passed SLC from a Nepali medium school. I couldn’t write a single grammatically correct sentence in English. Then I didn’t go to college but got degrees after studying only for a month before exams. I didn’t refer to a single course book. I would just buy a guess paper which would save my prestige. This is how I passed Bachelor’s exams in English and Economics and joined the Master’s in English. Though my knowledge is not satisfactory, I still aspire to be a glib talker in the foreign language and aspire to teach at university level.

I have decided to give the offer a try. I tried to contact the institute. A beautiful voice responded in fluent English. She informed me that the boss was in a meeting and would be available an hour later. I was very nervous to talk to the receptionist. The thought of the sugary accent mesmerised me. How could she speak so fluently and with the right accent? Why can’t I also do so? After an hour, the phone rang and the same voice informed me that the boss would like to have a word with me.

I was asked me to join the classes from the coming Sunday. Still there were a few more days for me to go for the D-day. Where to start? Should I begin my first class by reviewing grammar, or take up vocabulary, conversations, letters, essays or phonemes, sounds or pronunciation? I was utterly confused. The final day arrived and I got up at four. I had to reach the institute at 6 o’clock. As it would take only 15 minutes, I dressed up and got ready for the class. I practised hard for the presentation. Good morning everybody! I’m your new teacher … and the momentum picked up.