Playground Problems and Student Swansongs

It’s been a fairly busy week here at Inkreadable . I have a new student on my TEC schedule. She is Greek and starts this coming Friday. I started planning the lesson before my sister’s arrival so that I would be able to spend more time with her and her children doing fun stuff like going to museums, the zoo, and various outdoor spaces. I did not get as far as I would’ve liked, as I was sent a lot of resources from TEC and I did not have as much time as I wanted to take a look at them. The fact that this package is with a Greek girl, I’m kind of excited about.It will be interesting trying to figure out how to correct her pronunciation. So the first step I took was looking online for a database of sorts or a blog article about what kind of mistakes Greek speakers make. I also got access to her English central classes. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned English Central before, but it is an English language tool that the English Center has access to that has lessons where are you can also practice your pronunciation. It always amuses me because even I don’t get 100% for pronunciation. It must be something about the algorithm.

I finished up with Vicente last week, and I’m close to finishing up with another student week after next. I am hopeful that I will get more students, but what I really would like is a course. Not only is that more money but it’s also more steady work. Which is always important. Most of my students decide not to renew, so a course makes up for the loss. One of my TEC students, Ellemieke, is trying to improve her English so she can go and teach it in the Dutch school system. I’ve gotten some very interesting perspectives from her both as a prospective teacher and as a parent who has children in the system. It’s interesting because English is taught by Dutch teachers to students starting at the age of nine. And it’s mostly theory. Apparently the children don’t actually use the language in the classroom. Which to me is silly because, what’s the point? If you’re not going to use the language why bother learning it at all? I’ve had the thought that if I could get people interested, maybe I could go and teach Dutch teachers how to teach English. Ellemieke thought that was a good idea and so I think that we’re going to have more conversations over the next few lessons. She and I also bonded on a rather tragic note as well. She lost her husband four years ago to melanoma. It was all I could do, dear reader not to cry in front of her. I wasn’t particularly successful because she noticed and thankfully, she understood. Claudia, after an absence of forever, was back on my schedule this week. We have six lessons left and she still wants to focus on writing reports. I hope that I can find enough interesting material to help her. It’s a little scarce. ShinWei and I have met in person once now and we’ve had a great time, as they were conversational Our online meetings are devoted to classes but our in person meeting was just talk. It was easily the most fun of my lessons. But also the most challenging because it’s hard to keep somebody talking for an hour. Our next lesson will be in person as well so I need to up the conversation game.

By far the most challenging portion of this week was Conversation Playground. Adam, one of the children in the group, gets very upset and acts out when you don’t pick on him every time to do some thing. He also has a tendency to invade other children’s personal space a lot. In the last class, he actually pushed one of the girls. She was horsing around and so she laughed it off, but when confronted, Adam admitted that he had only pushed a little bit and not too hard. I did tell the whole class that pushing was not acceptable. I also took the precaution of telling Amardip, the owner of the conversation playground, and he instructed me to wait and see what happens next class. If there is any other misbehavior I am to tell him and he will contact the parents. It’s going to be a long Six weeks. I am very much looking forward to 29 November which will be the last class. Paradoxically, I am looking forward to continuing with the conversation playground because one hour or two hours a week is enough real classroom time with children. I don’t think I need more.

My private clients or a little bit scarce as my sister and her kids are here for a week. I have therefore cleared my schedule as much as I can. I will have George and Jerry later today, I also have my last class with Karine over at Lingueo. Unfortunately, I lost a student with Lingueo because their schedule changed. I did take the precaution of contacting the student to see if she wanted to book other lessons with me and told her that I had a fairly flexible schedule if she would like to change. But there has been no response. Karolina, who is in Finland recovering from a throat illness, was on my schedule on Thursday last week. She was a little bit distracted because she had received some texts from her work saying that they needed to have a talk. She is concerned that her bid to stay in Finland has been rejected. Apparently Finland suits her very well and she really doesn’t want to return to Poland. Xander and I had a wonderful first lesson for this package and I’m really glad to have him on my schedule. I was able to connect his lessons with another TEC client of mine who also works in real estate so it’s been interesting trying to make lessons for them.

I had the Writers Group at my house again this week. I managed to both host and get some work done. It was nice because we had two new people who seem to like how we work, and I was able to balance hosting with actual writing. I noticed some plot holes and was able to fix them. Fixing the holes actually helped me figure out where the writing is going to go and where the next couple of chapters are heading.

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

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