It’s been quite a while since I posted anything from my autobiographical sequence relating the incidents and experiences I had working as a tutor of EFL (English as a Foreign Language) at a language school in central London in the 1980’s, so I thought I’d better introduce the next section with a brief resume.
I had moved from Cambridge to London to do a post-graduate course at Chelsea College. I was aged twenty-nine, having started relatively late as a full-time student. After completing the course, I didn’t have a clue what I really wanted to do, and began a series of part-time jobs, before stumbling my way into teaching EFL. I luckily came across a language school situated just off Oxford Street that was looking for new tutors. I got on well with the Director of Studies, fortunately, and began to enjoy the one-to-one lessons that the school specialised in. At the time the narrative continues, I had been working there for a couple of years, and had established myself as one of the regular core of teaching staff.
The Managing Director gives me some unbelievable news:
It has been decided that I am to be offered
The job of Director of Studies.
I am stunned, overwhelmed, flattered,
By what I see as a reward, an accolade.
Of course I accept the offer.
My lack of job security, and my financial problems,
Are suddenly all resolved. I will be doing an office job,
An administrative post, with a monthly salary.
I will also have the intense satisfaction
Of creating and devising the weekly timetable,
Assigning tutors to students, deciding
Which tutors get to work each week,
And which don’t.
The times I have spent, my heart in my mouth,
Staring at, imbibing, almost inhaling
That weekly timetable on the noticeboard,
Knowing that it held my fate and my fortune
Within its precisely formulated confines.
Now, I have complete control over it.
It has become my plaything.
Here I am, in my mid-thirties,
The Director of Studies
of a prestigious language school
In the epicentre of the metropolis.
Clouds of glory form above my head,
Descend, and settle around
My smiling, self-satisfied features.