A Shock

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June 5, 2015 by helenwaldron

Q: What does a teacher need to know?

A: More than the learner.

“Very apt,” said Deborah straight-faced.

“I fell out of my cradle laughing at that one,” added Speakeasy with a groan.

Speakeasy was so relieved that Deborah was in a better mood today that he had taken her out to a Chinese restaurant. He felt sorry for her. She’d had a bad time recently and it wasn’t easy teaching in language schools for a fraction of the price that the customer paid for her teaching. He and Writewell had decided that when they took on an assistant, they would do more than just delegate work. It would be a type of apprenticeship. But still her anger, even bitterness, got on his nerves at times.

Today she was positively upbeat.

“I thought fortune cookies were meant to tell you something inspirational,” she laughed. “That sounds more like something out of a Christmas cracker.”

“And it’s not necessarily true in business English.”

“Do you know anything about logistics, James?”

“Loads,” he answered. “Why?”

“Well,” she beamed at him. “I’ve been asked to do an intensive course on logistics. It’s at Cosmecremes too, where you work, and I bet you could teach me a thing or two.”

“Cosmecremes,” said Speakeasy thoughtfully. “I think they asked us to do a seminar on logistics once. I remember Writewell spent ages writing a concept.”

“How was it?”

“We never did it. It happens a lot in our business. People ask and then it never happens. It’s annoying, but there you are. You just have to sell the concept in the other companies you’re working in. Who are you teaching for, did you say?”

“HamLang,” said Debroah.

“They’re cheap,” considered Speakeasy.

“They’re paying me quite well. I just have to learn the stuff,” answered Deborah. “Look, they’ve given me a lesson plan.”

And she delved in her bag for a sheaf of papers again.

HAMLANGHAMLANGHAMLANG

It said all over the top line

Hamburg’s best address for your language solutions.

And underneath Speakeasy read Writewell’s concept. He read the case studies she had discussed with him. He recognised her turn of phrase. It was almost as if she was in the Chinese restaurant with him.

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Helen Waldron

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Teachers as Workers

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