Are you confused by the title, dear readers? I’ll get to that in a moment. It has been another quiet week at Inkreadable. In fact, I think this is the quietest week at Inkreadable since I started taking on new clients. I was reminiscing with other teachers at VIPKid who also work for other jobs and how nice it was that when my day ended at three or four in the afternoon, I was done. I could go do other things like cook and exercise. These days my time is extremely structured and exercise happens well before sunrise, and cooking happens in large batches on the weekends, if I can manage it.
TEC, as you might have guessed, stands for The English Center. TPD stands for Teacher Professional Development. We had our first session this past Wednesday. The topics under discussion varied widely from how to incorporate technology into the classroom, specifically a one on one lesson (suggested by me), to how to deal with a classroom with differing levels. It was a really interesting panel discussion and I got to reconnect with some of my fellow teachers, which was great. In addition, I found out that two of my friends from the English Language Café were actually students of one of my colleagues. Amsterdam is indeed a small world. The professional development was particularly good for me because I hadn’t really talked to anybody who specialized in adults since my CELTA. All of the teachers that I know, work for either brick-and-mortar schools or are exclusively online teachers because they live here in Europe. And while they may have different side jobs, their main bread and butter is still online.
The best part of the day, or at least the most useful one for me, was the fact that at the end of the session the leader asked some of us to take what we had talked about in the session and type it out for everyone else. I found that particularly valuable because it forced me to look back over the notes I made and commit most of the stuff to memory. One of the things that I found interesting is that I’d forgotten how fun English games can be like taboo, and never have I ever. Drinking games as educational tools. Why not? With a few adjustments, you can incorporate them into the classroom with ease.
I also learned something about myself during the TPD session. While I have every confidence that I can take over a classroom situation of more than one or two or three people, I only have my Celta coursework as an example of classroom management. And I’m not sure that that counts. I have asked to observe some group lesson hours. I also reconnected with a teacher I met at the last teacher drinks night out. She is from South Africa and we worked together on presenting one of the questions to the rest of the class and wrote up something together. She, like me like a collaborative worker and this may be the start of something big. We are both self-starters and relatively new to the classroom teaching game. She also works for SayABC which is a subsidiary of VIPKid. So she totally knows my frustration with online teaching.
I also reconnected with my writers’ group on Thursday, but we had to move the session to the Huxton Hotel in Amsterdam because of the record-breaking temperatures, which surpassed 100°F. This is not normal and for a country that has no air-conditioning in its houses and unless you put it in yourself, you suffer. Luckily, it was only three days, the temperatures broke on Saturday and it was cooler. But which I mean 85 degrees. But for the three or four days that we were hitting these temperatures, my house was not a good place to be. My brain couldn’t function, and VIPKid took the brunt of that. I was working on autopilot, and using my acting ability with courses that I hadn’t looked at yet. There is a new set of courses in VIPkid called leveled reading and I definitely wasn’t at my best for them.
In other news, one of my friends from the Amsterdam language café has asked me for lessons. One of the projects for this weekend is to write up a proposal for him and see if he actually registers. And I learned my lesson with Carlton’s mom. This time I’m going to write a contract and have them sign it. But he seems to be a little bit more copacetic than Carlton’s mom because he also works in tech retail and that’s how he works as well. Still, I am skeptical because I’ve been burned too many times. As you all know. Hope does spring eternal, however
That’s all she wrote for this Inkreadable installment. But stay tuned. As always there is more to come.