Just an English Teacher: Numbers, Streets, and Places to TeachJune 6, 2006
Unit One – Preparing your Job Search
Lesson One – Numbers, Streets, and Places to teach
Page One – Exercise One – Paragraph One – Sentence One – Word One
One thing is certain about your new life in Cambodia – getting a job as an English teacher is an easy way to earn the money you need to secure your onward ticket out of here. Maybe Penang wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
Finding a job as an English teacher in a foreign non-English speaking country is relatively easy. This chapter is written to help you to organise a well- planned, systematic job-search and secure interviews with the various local institutes, schools and universities where you will be applying for a job.
Certainly, it can be very helpful if you have actually had proper training and earned a certificate or degree in the English teaching profession, but don’t let this minor technicality discourage you. If you happen to look even the slightest bit like Tom Cruise or Brittany Spears – and let’s face it, over here, most of us sort of do – there is a position for you at the front of most classrooms. The only problem you might be uncomfortable with at first is hearing people refer to your livelihood by saying “Oh, he’s or she’s just an English teacher.”
As for the certificates or degrees, you’ll need a friend who has skill with a computer, scanner and photocopier, and if you attach some four or five year old passport-sized photos of yourself you can easily overcome this routine equirement.
Keep in mind that British certificates have the most prestige. So be sure that your new certificate includes academic achievement acronyms like “CLETA”, “TOESL” or “TFOLE.” Your certificate does not have to come from a world famous institute of higher learning, but again, it is important that you maintain your British profile with your certificate or degree issued from universities or colleges located in places with names that sound like: Tillsborough-Hampfordshire, Kensington Square: Bidlington-Ashterton Quayside, Hornsby; Balder’s Fork, Gladstone: or Prestonwick Mews on Firth.
Not only do these quaint “olde English” names have impressively academic chimes to their sound, they have the added benefit of immediately discouraging potential employers from attempting to call for telephone verification.
Of course the much easier alternative would have been to get this red tape taken care of on Khao Sarn Road at half the price and with much less effort, but you didn’t know you were going to need a job as an English teacher until you got here just three days ago.
If you have already this much done you are well on your way to initiating a job search and getting your resume out there into the hands of the esteemed Directors and Directors of Faculties of Foreign Languages. What you need now is a photocopy of the white pages part of the yellow pages – be careful not to get an older edition because a lot of the older yellow pages have white pages sections that have turned yellow with age. Thus rendering my previous sentence useless (except that it helps this article to meet the rigid word- count requirement of my Khmer 440 editor.)
Now, just so I don’t confuse you anymore than I already am, let me re-phrase that paragraph by suggesting that you get the newest copy of the yellow pages and photocopy the white pages section at the back of the book, under the subject headings, ‘Institutes,’ ‘Schools,’ and ‘Universities’ which are listed in alphabetical order. This is not to suggest that you are going to organise your job-search by stopping at these places in alphabetical order.
Oh, no. no, no! You will also need a good street map that is available almost everywhere. For example, are you sitting at the bar of the ‘Run Around’ on Street 57? There’s one in front of you in the center of the ‘Bygone Beatnik Magazine.’ Are you at the top of the stairs going into ‘Sharpie’s’ Bar? There”s another one beside the ‘Bygone Beatnik Magazine’ called ‘Go-R3D2′ maps – that is, if you’re looking straight ahead at the wall in front of you and not already looking over your right shoulder into Shirtie’s to see if Da is in the bar, as promised.
The newest local publication, ‘The Pocket Guile’ can provide you with a fine series of mini-maps of various areas and it”s quite convenient to carry around in your shirt pocket – provided your shirt size is XXL.
Please note: if you are in ‘Martiani”s Bar’ there is no point in looking for maps. There are too many better distractions to be paying attention to. (As an English teacher myself, I must apologise for ending that previous sentence with a preposition: I screwed up.)
Maybe even your guesthouse or hotel can provide you a map. It doesn’t matter which map you choose for guidance – the one thing they all have in common is that none of them agree where any of the streets start or end, re-start or re-end, or where they might criss or cross.
But all of these maps are very easy to read because all of the streets in Phnom Penh are numbered. And except for two tiny glitches, (there is no logical positioning or order to the streets according to their number; and your moto-dop won’t understand your English pronunciation of the numbers) the numbered-street system will help you and your moto-dop zip around the city with the ease and efficiency of teaching class of deaf people how to whistle.
Of course I wouldn’t suggest that you are going to launch your job search street-by-street, in a logical numerical order.
Your final pre-job-search task is to study the white yellow pages, find the locations you want to apply to in a logical direction away from, and returning to, your starting point. Then list the names of the schools, institutes or universities and their addresses in the order that you want your *moto-dop* to bring you to for interviews tomorrow.
Easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy. Bob’s your uncle (unless you’re in Thailand as there he could easily be your aunt) your job-search itinerary is planned and ready for the big day tomorrow.
Look out Penang! You’re almost there!
In Unit 1, Lesson 2 we’ll study: 1) Finding a reliable “moto-dop,” and 2) Getting your resume out there.