This week at Inkreadable was an almost complete turnaround from the previous week. That’s not to say there weren’t a couple of negatives thrown in as well. In the first place, VIPKid is not willing to wait for me to get a note from my physical therapist so that I can get a soft cancellation on the class that I had to cancel for later today. I have decided that I’m not going to worry about it. What will be will be. And if things continue like they have been, maybe I can use VIPKid in the way that I have been hoping to use it for the last year and a half. That is, as a side job. Something that I can do if I want to make a little bit of extra money to, for instance, go on a vacation. Right now, VIPKid is still my main source of employment income. I have been averaging about 30 hours a week plus or minus 3 hours. With the extra students, I have been averaging another six hours, which allowed me to take weekends off.
The other negative of the past week was that Felix canceled on me last minute by saying that he was sick and would attend the lesson if had to pay. That put me in a really tough position. On the one hand, I didn’t want to get sick, but on the other hand, I have a policy for a reason. Having weighed my options, I decided to let him slide one last time because I have too many students depending on me next week to be sick myself. But boy, did that stick in my craw a little bit. Objectively, it’s kind of a very clever way to get out of paying for a missed class.
The English Center has proven to be a godsend. Not only do I like my colleagues, but there is a sense of collaborative effort that is much more tangible than at VIPKid. It isn’t that teachers at VIPKid don’t want to share it’s simply that we are so far apart that it can be very lonely. Friday night drinks are going to be a fairly regular thing. Possibly even once a month. I’m truly looking forward to having adult conversations that center around English language teaching that is “in real life”. In last week’s post I said that I had two students, I now have five students of my own, one student that I share with another teacher, and I’m also subbing for a teacher who is away. It’s going to be a busy June. If I can keep up this pace until I leave for Greece, VIPKid may indeed become a side gig. The English Center pays almost twice what VIPKpays in euros. That is incentive enough for anyone. The only drawback, according to the teachers is that the work is not always steady. But that’s OK. Because I can always add more VIPKid to compensate. Or even try to find more students here on my own.
Over in the sticks, I mean suburbs, of Amsterdam, another surprise awaited me last Tuesday. I knocked on the door promptly at 5:15 to be greeted by Carlton shouting “yay!”. I was amused, but not taken in for one second. “You’re happy to see me?” I asked. The response was “yes I want to work. I like doing homework.” Said no kid, ever. We worked on describing a monster from a worksheet I had found online. What I noticed is that Carlton is very good at physical description, but struggles to describe personality traits in detail. We also did some spelling work and learning of new words. He continues to do well with making sentences from easily confused words which I have received from his teacher. Towards the end of our lesson, Carlton’s mom came in and once the lesson ended, I got a chance to talk to her. It turns out I was right to be skeptical of Carlton’s joy at my appearance earlier. It seems that he had been incentivized to come to class. I’m not sure how I feel that he has to be bribed to attend classes with me. I also learned that they want to keep me after the Summer break. I am conflicted. On the one hand, I need to work. But on the other hand, it doesn’t make it worth it for me to go out there once a week. Especially when I can fill the time with a more steady income from the English Center. It is a conundrum. I’m going to have to mull it over.
That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.