They say time flies when you’re having fun. Or when your life is a neverending cycle of teaching, getting ready to teach, and fighting to get more than five hours’ sleep with zero time for anything else.
I haven’t even had a proper weekend yet – despite the three-day one last week – and I don’t just mean because of planning. Extracurricular tasks involve meeting and looking after the students staying in the house opposite me… fine when they’re agreeable, not so much when you have someone who was mis-sold both the house itself and her rooming situation.
But it’s good to be thrown in at the deep end. Good experience. Keeps you busy. … Right?I think I am having fun though. I’m at a point with the planning where my thinking goes more into exactly what kind of tasks to look for rather than endless debating about what to do.
I did see the course evaluations the ones leaving this weekend filled out… negative (even if only slightly) comments are always hard to take, but they were fair: a little more variation never hurt anyone (although it’s hard to variate too much when they only really respond to speaking tasks) and of course the teacher who’s been at it for years is going to be better than me. At least they didn’t hate me!
It started out with them all being in hotels, which meant only seeing them in class. There were five of them, in the same room, with me and the other teacher swapping between the two groups.
Then came more people. At more levels. They were divided into two rooms, with the two of us swapping between them and the experienced teacher taking the advanced ones away when she had the time. Still only nine of them.
Next week? Next week it shoots up to 24. Age-wise, only one is a beginner, although age isn’t the best of indicators, so it’s really down to seeing what they’re like when they arrive.
Don’t get ahead of yourself
Here’s me talking about next week’s classes. Before I even get that far, there’s:
1) Meeting and greeting them tomorrow. Only (“only”) 15 of them, but as if losing time dealing with meeting them isn’t bad enough, I’ve been asked to actually go to the airport with the bus picking them up. I guess going to the airport is better than sitting around the house worrying about when they’re going to arrive.
2) Dinner, breakfast and welcome party, oh my! While it would be fine if they were in a hotel, half and full board when they’re in these houses is harder to pull off. They need to be shown where the restaurant they’re going to is, where the bus stops are to get there and back, how the buses work and how to get their special menu.
Sunday is their first full day, and we’re offering a beach day and a welcome party. Guess who might have to go to the beach with them, on top of sorting their breakfasts and worrying about helping plan the party? Yep!
3) Activities. That’s Activities with a capital A. This group is when our activities schedule kicks in, the final change to what this job is going to be. Meaning? Meaning teaching until 2:30, getting home at about 3, possibly chaperoning activities between at least 5 and 7, and potentially giving up weekends depending on what they want to do and who wants to do it.
With any luck they’ll be as independent as the ones have been so far. You can but hope.
Have I mentioned that I was already having problems finding the time to plan my lessons?