Teacher Trapped and a Dictation Dilemma

Today, dear readers marks the start of a fairly difficult time for me. In the first place, it is my mom’s birthday and I always feel a little bit sad and quite nostalgic. I am not, however, allowed to wallow too much and missing my mom, because it also happens to be Jasper’s birthday. As it is a Tuesday, we will not celebrate together today as I am at Carlton’s. Last Tuesday, marked a “first time” for me with him. It was the first time I had seen him act like a spoiled brat in front of his mother. She actually made him cry. Apparently, he gets very upset because his Dutch colleagues are already out of school, well he has to be in school until 15 July. As that coincides with my last lesson with him, I think we are both counting down the days. While it wasn’t a complete turnaround from the previous week, he did quite well on the stuff that I had him working on. One of the most difficult things that I’m facing with this family however, Is Carlton’s mother’s insistence that dictation should be the at forefront of our lessons. I’m just not sure how to make dictation fun, nor am I able to fill an hour of lessons with dictation. It feels physically impossible. How do I keep his attention on dictation, when it’s hard enough keeping his attention when we have multiple tasks in the hour? My mantra has become “only four more lessons, only four more lessons”. But those four lessons are sure to be difficult as the only thing that Carlton now lacks is dictation. So there you have it. That’s my dictation dilemma.

The first part of my title also has to do with Carlton because I have felt trapped in the contract with him since January. I’ve decided that it’s not worth it for me to continue with them, but I am struggling as to how to convey that to his parents without offending. After all, I don’t want them to go around their various schools bitching about me to other parents. Nothing stays with you more than a bad review. And I should know. In 3 1/2 years with VIPKid I’ve had 10 less than four Apple reviews, 21 four Apple reviews, and the rest have been five Apple reviews. That is out of a total of almost 2000. So when I hear VIPKid teachers get upset, I both feel their pain but also get annoyed. Whoever said that any publicity is good publicity, might (and I use might loosely), have had something in the advertising world. But in the teaching world, I think he was an idiot.

This week has been doubly difficult because I have Jasper’s parents with me and my house has never felt so small. It has been very difficult teaching even though it has only been for three days. And it’s not that I can’t do my job, I’ve been doing it just fine but I have noticed that it is a bit more difficult. Thankfully it’s only temporary and I go back to my regular house to myself and schedule next week. But the feeling of being trapped extends to that because I need to be on even after the camera is turned off and VIPKid is done.

The saving grace has been my adult students through the English Center. I’ve been having so much fun teaching English but also learning from my students. In fact, last Thursday was the first time that I didn’t teach for VIPKid but only taught exclusively for the English center. Shocker of shockers, I was even able to meet a friend for coffee in between my classes on Thursday afternoon. It was blissful. I am crossing my fingers that I get more of that.

Absolutely no writing was done this week as I didn’t even attend the Writers group. Hopefully, I will go back to them on the 20th and be able to be productive.

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

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