This weekend Inkreadable was full of pitfalls for me. For the first time in a little over a year and a half, I had to cancel one class for a student because I was half asleep when I accidentally excepted her priority booking request. It was for Tuesday, 28 May when I have a physical therapy appointment. The laying on of guilt by VIPKid was intense. They asked me no less than three times with pop-ups whether I really, really wanted to cancel. Yes, VIPKid, I really want to cancel. You say that it’s not going to affect my contract because we are allowed six cancellations in a contract period but I’ve been hearing rumors that things have changed at VIPKid. I have one teacher in my Facebook group who didn’t get a raise because she didn’t meet all their criteria for raises. I think I just screwed myself with this cancellation. I am also a full-time teacher for VIPKid. I have decided not to care. My health comes first and if VIPKid doesn’t understand that, I’m pretty sure the parents will. I’m also going to tell the child directly in Chinese the next time I see her.
That was my Friday. Janice was absent again and has put our lessons on hold as she still looks terrible. Accordingly, I have the next couple of Sundays free. Is it bad that I am a cynic when it comes to private clients that put themselves on a hiatus?
By far the most challenging portion of last week was Carlton. That child was cheeky as hell. His school has started reading and using the simple past to describe different events that have happened. This is the information that I received from his teacher. So on Tuesday I went to his house and did exactly that. I found an exercise online, of the daily routine of a kid named Peter and the task was to write out Peter’s day in diary form. I added another dimension by having Carlton write a story as a reporter witnessing the Great Fire of London. And having him interview Peter as a witness. Immediately, his reaction was “I’m not doing that”. When I inquired into what exactly he wasn’t doing, he said stubbornly said, “I’m not going to write as if I’m another person”. My response was that he wasn’t writing is another person he was writing as himself. Despite all of this I managed to get him to write about 50 words.
I am also happy to report that I have a third class with the English center. This one is for a private lesson focusing on accent reduction with a North American accent. I hope my American nasal tones can do class justice. Felix and I are plowing through modal verbs and have spent three classes on them so far. My two person class wants to focus on conversation and the structure of a sentence. I’m going to have to do some quick research as to how I teach the structure of a sentence to Dutch speakers. In my mind, the Dutch sentence is infinitely more complicated than an English sentence. They put the verb at the end. In essence, they sound like Yoda. “I want a strawberry to buy.”It is an example of how their sentences translated. So I’m a little confused as to why my Dutch students are confused by the simplicity of the subject-verb agreement. That’s gonna take some time to figure out.
My tech trails continue with me trying to figure out my backup computer. It becomes impossible to do two things at once because we use a new application that VIPKid designed in order to maintain our stability. And not get any teacher technical issues. But the downside of that is that I can’t switch between the classroom and chrome as fluidly.
Jasper and I went to Apple to try to get them to show us the inside of the computer and they wouldn’t. They also lied and said that we could go to a third party service provider and they would open it. We duly did and the service provider said they couldn’t open it either. Well, now the search for a new computer continues. I may go to Apple in the States and see if they can do anything but have little hope. Not something I was anticipating and not something I wanted, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.