Teaching Tales and a Writing Return

I am thankfully getting into the swing of things in terms of splitting my time between admin and teaching. It’s been a little bit of an adjustment because all things being equal, the teaching pays more. But the advantage with the admin is that I get the first pick of new students if I want them. I haven’t been able to take on a new student in about three weeks, but this week I saw a student who is just up my street as a banking professional, needing interview prep and finance help. It’s also nice because she’s only a five-hour student.

Her name is Carlien and we get along like a house on fire. We met yesterday morning and we scheduled all five of our lessons within the next couple of weeks. That suits me fine because it allows me to keep slots open for other people. I will have another English Center client on the 14th of October. My client Marco with whom I only had one hour and a half lesson before he went off sick about a year and a half ago. I am excited to reconnect. I had a bit of a complaint with Isabelle last week. She feels that we should be doing a lot more speaking spontaneously than we are doing now. At the moment, I am doing two critical reading lessons with her to help her with her pronunciation and her ability to learn new words. But I think I’m going to have to adjust and actually do half an hour of reading and structured discussion in the lesson as well as some spontaneous speaking for the rest of the time. The ability to pivot on a dime is essential when you’re teaching adults who want a voice in what they’re learning. By far, my most challenging student at The English Center is still Slava because while he likes to talk and accept correction, it’s very hard to get him to actually do an exercise because he thinks he knows all of the tenses and all of the grammar already. I’m also a little annoyed because he never received the books that we got him at the English Center. They were delivered on 25 September. He’s staying at a hotel and so I imagine the reception received them. At least, I hope so. This has made it very difficult to assign him work that dovetails with the lessons that I teach each week.

In my private client world, work remains consistent but relatively slow. I had a lesson with Samar this weekend, where we edited a cover letter for her. We have one more lesson left in the four-hour package and I think that will be the last one. Her schedule is a little bit too busy and I find that teaching her once every two weeks is not enough for me when I can give time to someone else. ShinWei and I are online for the moment as he is in the States for another week. Galini and I continued to work on interview prep this week. On Wednesday we met in person for the first time. I also did a touch of unpaid work for her by editing one of her cover letters and taking a look at some resources that she asked me to. The resource was a cover letter template that she found a bit aggressive. I was amused, but also tended to agree. My beloved Sander comes back on my schedule this coming Monday. We only have two lessons in the package and I think it will be our last two which I’m a little bit sad about, but I’m also hopeful that he will continue or at least that his son Yves will need help and will be able to keep in touch. We will have to see how that works out. Leonardo, otherwise known as Karim is not on my schedule currently, but he gives me frequent updates on his progress with the TOEFL and studying. I joked this week that he no longer needed me as he got an 8 1/2 out of nine on the reading comprehension for the TOEFL and that’s a great score. His response was “please don’t say that, of course, I need you!” I was amused and touched. But mostly amused.

This week was the first week in about six or seven that I was able to actually create new content for my novel. Up until then, I had been editing my 33 chapters. It was really nice to get back to actually writing the story and listening to my characters. I think I’m going to have to institute a writing goal like one of my writers who says that he tries to write 400 words a day. It is an extremely doable goal. Let’s see if I can do something similar.

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

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