TEFL Teaching isn’t all fun and games. There’re cockups, too.
In Greece and the subject of the lesson was cults and we were discussing it with the class. I happened to mention a notorious cult in England at the time, the Moonies.
Dead silence and a shocked look on the faces of the students. I pushed on. “The Moonies live in country houses. Do you have Moonies here in Greece?”
Stunned silence and sensing something was wrong, we moved on. After the lesson I explained to my boss what had happened. She looked shocked too. It turns out the rude Greek word for “lady bits” is pretty much identical to Moony!
With an advanced class we came on the word flush which some of them didn’t quite get in the context.
“It can have 3 meanings as a verb,” I told them, holding up 3 fingers. “The first is wash away, you know how we flush the toilet.” I lowered a finger. “The second meaning is to be even with so we can say the table over there is flush with the window cill.” And I lowered a second finger.
Some of the class were giggling and some looked slightly shocked. And then I went on to explain the final meaning of flush as a verb while the class slowly dissolved. It was only when there was complete chaos that I realised I was standing in the front of the class with a single middle finger pointing up to the sky that I realised where I’d gone wrong!