I am not, dear reader, what you would call an extrovert. In fact I am the furthest thing from. I have always been quite quiet, quite introspective, and quite shy. Perhaps not in print, but definitely in person. What the hell are you doing in teaching, you ask? I ask myself that question every day dear reader. If you are an introvert, like I am, The mere thought of getting up in front of people to speak is terrifying. In fact I always had a problem with public speaking. It started in middle school when we would do De baets. One of my classmates used to like to make lewd faces and Rather disgusting gestures at me because he knew it would throw me off my game. And unfortunately, this was before I realized that my peripheral vision is very limited. If he had been sitting on my right hand side I would not have seen him at all and would’ve been fine. But speaking in front of people gives me nightmares. The funny thing is, that I do it well.
VIP kid, is a prime example of that. I have spent the last three years being an absolute idiot on camera with my students. I will say that it’s easier because I am one on one with them. But I also discovered something about myself this week. Being able to out child a child comes in good stead even in the adult classroom. I’m not sure if you remember, dear reader, but I have a little bit of PTSD when it comes to TC. A few months back I was given a student and I pitch the lesson a little too low for her and she wanted to get another teacher. She liked me personally but didn’t like the lesson. But since that time I have been absolutely terrified that I wasn’t doing the work that I needed to for the English center. As a result, I have been checking in with my students Regularly to see if they are enjoying my classes so that I can avoid what happened a few months ago. So far it’s been a fairly positive experience. I have several students who are coming back to me two of them for the third time. That’s right, my Dutch real estate executives are back with me starting next week. I also have my Dutch student over in I’m still living. Unfortunately, my Japanese students are on hiatus. They are just too busy.
On Thursday I had my first class and it went better than I could’ve hoped. It also helps that this whole idea of how child a child works really well in an adult classroom that is fairly low level. I did a little bit of grammar I did a little bit of listening and I did a lot of talking. I am hoping over time that my teacher talk time will decrease. But being the class clown is exhausting. I hope I can maintain it for the next 10 lessons. I had five students in the class and they are from all over the world. Turkey, Vietnam, Japan, Russia, and the Ukraine are represented. There is the possibility that I will have someone from Argentina as well. But she wasn’t in the class. My biggest challenge is my Japanese student. She is by far the lowest level in the class by quite a bit. She struggles to understand most simple things. But I have found that if I lower my expectations for her and help guide her she is able to get the answer that I want. Acting like a kid with a class clown, really helps in the situation because not only are you using body language to show what you want but also you’re making people laugh. Let’s see if the introvert in me can really be an extrovert in the classroom.
That’s all she wrote for this incredible installment. But stay tuned. As always, there is more to come.