Boys like these had been my specialty about fifteen years ago, and recently when I've run into some former students and told them that I've returned to teaching they are my biggest cheerleaders and fans.
No, I'm not back in the same school, where I had taught for over a decade. I'm now teaching in Yeshiva High School Ahavat Chaim, which is in Kochav Hashachar, southeast of Shiloh, and the alma mater of my two sons, who graduated in the second and fourth graduating classes.
Why did I leave my easy job at Yafiz, selling clothes, which I really did enjoy even though the salary was the bare minimum according to law?
There are many reasons, which I can't go into right now. But the main one was that I couldn't sleep well working night shifts. I'm a morning person by nature, and working, getting myself in a "hyper mode" until 9:30pm to deal with customers plus and then having to stay awake and alert until I was home well after 10pm, meant that frequently I couldn't fall asleep until well after midnight. I was not hired as a night shift worker; it was just to do it "sometimes."
Is teaching EFL here in Israel better today than it was when I agreed to be fired?
To be honest, no! The things that irked me then are worse now. And now there is no, even mildly, convenient way to travel between my home and Kochav Hashachar by public transportation. Every night before teaching I have to call other staff members to arrange a ride. So far, it hasn't rained when I've had to travel, so the mile, kilometer and a half, between my house and the pickup point is a nice morning's walk. Going home also requires similar logistics. But there is one thing I enjoy now, which I didn't have in my former teaching job. The staff I work with now really makes an effort to go out of its way to help me and others. It also helps that my teaching hours are morning and afternoon. In my former school it was only afternoon/evening, I'd finish as late as 7:15pm, and nobody cared if I was stuck waiting an hour for a ride in my direction.
Teaching is a talent I have. I can pretty much teach anything I know and have. I don't mind having to "change a lesson plan" on the spot, because the kids just don't know one of the prerequisites. That's a key for success as a Remedial Teacher.
Because I have to travel when others need to get to work, which is earlier than me most days, I take advantage of the computers in the Teachers Room for my lesson planning. One of the reasons I didn't want to return to teaching is that it can take over your life. I only teach two classes and have very few students.
I don't know if my salary will actually be much better than the one I had gotten from Yafiz, but I did need a change. I also don't plan on doing this very long and told that to the department head. But as we all know, life is full of surprises. May Gd give me the health and humor to continue and succeed.
*Mild Learning Disabled, normal to high IQ suffering from one or various conditions like dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADD, ADHD, poor motivation etc.
**If at first you don't succeed, just give up and disrupt the class so efficiently nobody can learn anything.