12 First Job

Charlotte talks about her first teaching job and her first day on the job in Poland.

Todd: OK, Charlotte. You've been a teacher for quite awhile.

Charlotte: Yeah, I started about three years ago. My first job was in Jessif, in the east of Poland. I was promised that I wasn't going to have to teach any beginners or any little children because it was my first job. I was promptly given the beginner infants. My first day of teaching I was given a book which said, 'Ah! Go into the classroom and say "Hello" to the children and they'll all say "Hello" back to you and wave. I walked into a class of five four-year olds, followed by all their mothers and grandmothers and I said, "Hello" and they all burst into tears. I spent half the lesson trying to get them to say,"Hello" to each other and stop them from crying while all the grandmothers stood around and stared at me. I finally finished off my singing the whatever Happy Princess Song, all on my own, with crying infants to accompany me. It was one of the worst days of my life. I could identify with all the children though, because I wanted to sit on the floor and cry with them by the end of it. I think that that was when I realized that teaching kids was never going to be my vocation. I had some other classes as well but quick soon after that and moved onto adults who cry slightly less. Yeah, that was my first teaching experience. Not the best. 

Learn Vocabulary from the lesson

quite awhile

You've been a teacher for quite awhile.

If you have been doing something for 'quite awhile' you have been doing it a long time.  Notice the following:

  1. Have you been working here for quite awhile?
  2. I need a break. I've been studying for quite awhile.

burst into tears

I said hello and they all burst into tears.

If you 'burst into tears' you start to cry intensely without any warning.  Notice the following:

  1. She burst into tears when she saw her terrible grades.
  2. I was so happy to see my family that I burst into tears.

try to get them to

I tried to get them to stop from crying.

If you 'try to get' someone to do something you make an effort to change his mind or behavior.  Notice the following:

  1. Will you try to get them to stay here for the night?
  2. She tried to get the students to study.

finished off

I finished off singing all on my own.

If you 'finish off' doing something you complete the task.  Notice the following:

  1. Can you finish off washing the dishes?
  2. She never finishes off what she starts.

identify with

I could identify with the kids because I wanted to cry too.

If you 'identify with' someone you understand how they feel because you have similar feelings.  Notice the following:

  1. I can identify with how you're feeling.
  2. It is nice to have co-workers you can identify with.


Answer the following questions about the interview.

Keep Listening

Below are some more great lessons!

Vocabulary Challenge

Complete the sentences with the words below.
awhile • burst • tried to get
finish off • identify with
  1. She was so excited that she into tears.
  2. I need to my homework before I go anywhere.
  3. Do you people your own age?
  4. His boss him to work harder.
  5. We waited for quite before we left.