What is Fishnet? I'll give you a clue: It's not a holey pair of nylons. Sorry, I couldn't resist :)
Since many of my posts will refer to Fishnet, I figured it would be good to explain what it is and how it operates. So grab some coffee, tea, or hot chocolate, hunker down in a comfy chair, and relax while I explain.
I work at a language school called Fishnet s.r.o. The s.r.o. basically stands for ltd. Confused? Me too. But don't worry, it's not important.
When I think of a school, a big building full of kids and mass chaos comes to mind. This is NOT what teaching is like here. Fishnet is a language school, but it's really more of an office. A few small classes are held there, but it operates more like an agency. Fishnet hires native English speakers (me!) and Czech teachers who speak English. Then, the teachers are assigned to teach various classes in the city. Classes come in all shapes and sizes. Some are at businesses, some are at "normal" schools, others are with individuals in the community, and some are public courses.
I am the lucky teacher of 11 different classes. Two classes are with individual students at two different local businesses. One is an individual class at the office with a public school teacher. Three are group classes at the previously mentioned businesses. Two are group classes of teachers at two local primary schools. One is a public course for a group of students who are near the same level of English, but are a wide variety of ages. Another is a public course for adults who are either on maternity leave, unemployed and looking for a job, or over the age of 50 and still working. The last class is for a group of students who are preparing to take an exam to receive a special certificate in English proficiency.
All of my classes meet once a week, except for one, which meets twice a week. Most of these classes are an hour and a half long, a few are only one hour long, and two are two and a half hours long. For Fishnet, 45 minutes is one teaching hour, so I have a grand total of 24 teaching hours per week. What's sad is that it just took me a ridiculously long time to count those hours. Good thing I teach English and not Math...
All this is said to explain my schedule here in Ostrava. It's not a normal teaching job. In fact, it reminds me more of a college schedule. I go back and forth, to and from the office, the flat, and classes all around the city. It's pretty crazy, and it can get kind of hectic...but I love it. It's like having the best of both worlds in that I have a schedule, but there is variety. Each day is different. It's great.
Now here's the real kicker about Fishnet: it's a Christian language school. How cool is that? Now, this doesn't mean that we teach only Christian students. Our students are all ages and come from every walk of life. Fishnet's goal is to use the natural dialogue that comes from teaching English as a foreign language to create opportunities for meaningful discussion and relationship with students. Because of this, teaching is a major part of my ministry here in Ostrava.