Teacher tension and a writing relapse

Teacher tension is what happens when you walk into a suburban house in Amsterdam and the first words out of mom’s mouth are “I went to see Carlton’s teacher and I’m not happy by the results.” So of course butterflies in my stomach and heart in mouth I ask “what happened?”. It seems the Carlton is behind in some key areas In order to pass into the third grade. They happen to be the areas that I’m working on namely spelling, Vocabulary, reading comprehension, and he has trouble with word problems. I think mom is being a little bit melodramatic in thinking Carlton might not pass into the third grade, but my response was “do you have the teachers email so that I can align what we do here at home with what he needs to focus on in school?”. She did and I wrote an email to the teacher who as of this writing has yet to respond. I was assured that she wasn’t unhappy with my work just with her son’s progress. But you can understand that for about an hour of my life I was racking my brain trying to figure out what I had done wrong. But in this case it isn’t me. Carlton simply refuses to do the work. Even with me I get him to do the exercises that I bring for him but it is like pulling teeth. And he continues to want to push buttons both mine and his moms. This week it was his mom and he was not very nice to her. So I got very firm because he was actually correcting Her on her English pronunciation. This was not to be born and I made him apologize to his mom.

Teacher attention also happens when you’re teaching and adults how to interview. But at least that was more interesting for us both. I’ve been finding lots of stuff online in terms of blogs for the questions that people ask with the interview. I’ve printed out all of that and I’ve gone over it a couple of times with Felix. He in addition has gone home and written out answers for himself. I also found a lesson plan where you roll play different jobs and people are either the interviewer or the interviewee. These were classroom lesson plans and I’m not sure I’m going to be able to adopt them to a one on one lesson but I’ll do my best.

Also, on Friday I had a phone chat with the English center in Amsterdam. It was a lovely chat and the owner of the company was really nice. She’s looking for English teachers and my English teacher friend here in Amsterdam told her about me and asked me to send a resume. After some agonizing over cover letters (I hate cover letters) I sent out my resume on Thursday night and on Friday I had a phone chat. It seems that even English language teaching requires somebody you know to get you in the door. I’m not sure this is going to result in a job but fingers crossed.

A Writing relapse happens when there is Teacher attention. It started on Sunday where I was only able to write 300 words. It continued on Thursday as I was only able to write another 150 words. But at least I wrote something. In my defense I also had to give a prompt in the writing group as there were people who were interested in doing one. I was not one of those people but I had to moderate. I also didnt write at all this weekend as Jasper and I went to Arnhem and Nijmegen. It was a friend (and fellow VIP teacher) surprise birthday party. Much to my surprise Jasper agreed to come along when I first heard about the party. I suspect that it was because of the escape room more than because of the party. Iwas very excited about the escape room myself, As up until this weekend I had never done one. It turns out that it was a lot of fun. The only negative was having to pay two nights for an Airbnb where we only stayed one. But we balanced it because otherwise we would’ve had to stay in a hotel outside the city and take cabs everywhere.

Katya and VIP kid continue to be quite easy and stress-free. I’m grateful for that even as I hope that I will get some work with real life adults here in Amsterdam.

That’s all she wrote for this incredible installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.

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