Post # 1
so im living in mexico and cant legally work until after my wedding (visa issues) so i have a lot of free time. my neighbour has a language school and asked if i could volunteer twice a week for 4 hours to give the kids some exposure to a native speaker.
im 6 weeks in and i just feel like im doing a horrible job. i got dropped in at the deep end, as in “heres the class, ill pop in in an hour or so to see how its going”
todays highlights include
– wondering for ages why this student, angel, wasnt replying to me. then discovering it was because his name was in fact paco. in my defence the students change every week, same group of kids…but they dont all turn up every time. oops
– complete inability to explain why ‘planted” has 2 syllables and “digged” has one
– bad pronounciation. kid was trying to say hugged…. and said huge-ed…and my correction was “no, hugg-ed…wait, thats not right.”
– accidental swearing when i fell over the chair “shit…sugar” (for some reason i never replaced shit with sugar, i now just say them both”
and theres more. part of me is killing myself over not doing the perfect job, and part of me thinks “well, itd be worse if i was getting paid for doing a crummy job, at least im free”
im trying to use ESL resources but i just dont seem to be a natural at this =S sigh
Post # 3
Don’t beat yourself up too much. Teaching is really hard! Remember tomorrow is another day. Good luck!
(Also, I can totally relate… I’ve had some bad moments/days/weeks myself)
Post # 4
Although I don’t undersatnd why you’d be left alone with the kids for hours, I’d say just relax. Your “hugg-ed” story made me laugh because I did something similay when I was student teaching 2nd grade many years ago. I tried to convice my student that “Her’s kite” was correct. Then finally, I looked at it, and was like … what the hell was I thinking!! hahaha!
You’ll get better and feel more confident with time!
Post # 5
Even if you are a crappy ESL teacher you are a great storyteller, because I laughed out loud for about 5 minutes over your post and then read it outloud to Darling Husband. For some reason the “shit…sugar” strikes me as being the funniest thing I’ve ever heard.
Post # 6
At least you cursed in English.
I’m sorry you had a rough day!!
Post # 7
I think you should definitely take notes about your experience because so far, it’s totally hilarious and would be a really awesome chapter in a book. Not even joking! Hang in there, honey, you’re not the first gringo teacher they’ve had that’s likely done the same. 🙂
Post # 8
its just because i had reservations at the beginning, and he kept saying that itd be super easy “you’re english, theyre learnign english, its simple”. lies!!
@HeMadeMeWantTo: well the first week he sat and watched me, and jumped in if i struggled…and after that, he took the classes im doing as time for him to have a break? its great for him, hes making money and is using “classes with a native english speaker” as a sales pitch
his only criticism is that i dont do enough actions/gestures. eg if im explainign the word jumped im supposed to jump up and down. and big smiles, constantly. my face hurts after 4 hours
oh and that im not supposed to laugh (fair enough really). i couldnt help it, the class can’t say the TH sound. so they were trying to say “thought”, and one girl kept saying “foot” over and over and the other kept saying something strangely similar to fuck
“thought!” “foot” ,”fuck”
“thought…th..ought” “foo–oot/ fuck” x 10 times
whilst im not trying to wreck their self confidence, i was told to persevere until they got it. 5 minutes later id got borderline hysterical giggles
next one saturday!
Post # 9
As someone who taught, and left the profession two years ago, I will say that teaching was hands down ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS I EVER HAD TO DO. Don’t beat yourself up too hard. I used to do the same thing. The nice thing about teaching is that the next day is a clean slate to go at it again. I am sure you are doing a great job. It’s not easy. And anyone who says it is, well… clearly has never taught in a classroom for a year. I have such a found respect for teachers after being in their shoes. They are extremely underpaid, overworked, and underrated at what they do. It actually makes me mad just thinking about it.
Good luck, tomorrow is a new day at it! 🙂
Post # 10
@newname_99: Don’t worry – I’m sure you’re doing very well! As a teacher AND a linguist, I will HANDS DOWN say that English is the most difficult language to learn and to teach. It has some sounds that no other standard languages have (for example, the “th” sound in “thou” or “thy” and TONS of schwas) and barely has a standard of rules for pronounciation. In most other languages, there is the “what you see it what you get” standard to pronounciation which English only follows about 20% of the time.
Just keep your energy up and stay positive. It REALLY is helpful, even if you’re saying “Yes you say ‘height’ but you say…’eight’?”