Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Employment! Alternativ Jazykova skola

After the course we, the newly certified English teachers, were sent off into the world. My good friend Nicole had to go back to California to finish her teaching contract there. My friend Barbara went to South Korea, Domhnall went to Japan in search of work but is now in Australia, Kliment to Ethiopia, Lowell to Romania to propose to his girlfriend, my Slovakian roommate Zita went back to England and then hopefully to Spain.... literally, everyone all over the world!
About ten of us stayed in Prague and therefore scheduled interviews and spent the next two weeks telling language schools why we were all legit people and why our skills were exceptional from all of the other applicants.... Prague boast over 200 language schools, and therefore we were all bound to find something, despite the economic crisis. And wouldn't you know that six of us found a job at the same company, Alternativ Language school.
I interviewed at Alternativ as well as another school I'll leave nameless, but found the latter to be a very strict and cold environment, not something I imagined for a place of learning. Also, on my interview at Alternativ I was told I resemble a Czech movie star.... can't tell you which one, though... the majority of what was said in the interview was very broken English and a whole lot of Czech. But in the end, I found myself with a job along side some wonderful and familiar faces, including the roommate, Devon.View from the balcony of Alternativ

A few things about Alternativ:
1) The school is in a house in Prague 11, a rather longish commute for us from Prague 3.
2) It seems to be a family affair. Tanja is the director. She has her sons working as receptionists sometimes, and her niece acted as the Guinea pig of a student while we were training. The best employee is Milos, the husband. His job description went something like this: "You have paperwork problem, talk to Milos. You have technology problem, talk to Milos. You're feeling ill, talk to Milos." There is also Vendula, the methadologist, who is a striking woman from the "Paradise of the Czech Republic." Her enthusiasm for teaching us, both methodology and Czech lessons on Friday is incredible. However I think it is aided by:
3) Alternativ Wellness, which is housed upstairs from the language school. They offer homeopathic medicine including messages and acupuncture. For the employees of Alternativ, they give a 50% discount. Although Vendula probably gets her services for free; I've counted three times now when she has come back from one of our ten minute breaks with around 30-40 needles in her ear for her "thyroid."
Dad says this place sounds like a Saturday Night Live skit. I couldn't agree more. However, I enjoy it besides the humorous aspect. There is always coffee or tea waiting and on Monday Milos gave me a piece of cake that Tanja had made over the weekend. To find myself sipping tea and eating cake while I lesson plan, well, it's great.

1 comment:

  1. Hey! I was just looking for Alternativ's new phone number to add to my resume (I'm assuming it changed when they changed buildings). I was a teacher there for half a year until last June, it's definitely one of the better schools to work for in Prague - It's got its own problems, but they all do, and theirs are a lot better than some of the others. It's good to see someone else from Alternativ doing well and enjoying Prague!