When you assume…

Well, you know what they say.  Basically, don’t.

I exaggerate, as today wasn’t a disaster, but I had gone ahead and assumed – and prepared for – X number of students, expecting two to be missing like they usually are, and I ended up with Y number instead.  Which meant a slight running off to photocopy panic. Continue reading →


Sorry, The Dog Ate My Homework

Oh dear.  Doing this every day didn’t exactly work out, did it? Let’s see… highlights… bailing adults, bratty kids and demanding students about covers it. Continue reading →

Blink and You Miss It

It’s Monday.  It was Friday five seconds ago.  Where’d that weekend I was supposed to be super productive in disappear to?

To clarify, it didn’t disappear into a wormhole of time wasting, playing games or watching shows and the like.  No, it was to do with the new thing that’s been added to my job description.  Well, was already in the description but hadn’t started until Saturday. Continue reading →

First week recap

Just a quick post before I go sleep till Monday.

Not really.  The hours are pretty good – 9am to 1pm (at least for now) even if I was then working on the next day’s lessons from 1pm to 1am, and I’m enjoying it.  Hopefully they are too.

I’m fairly sure I’m not just being overly self critical for thinking there’s room for improvement: to be expected at this stage, sure, but that’s not entirely a good enough excuse. Continue reading →

Tales from the other side of the desk

So.  Today was a day focusing entirely on the little ones.  That’s four hours with an 8 and 10 year old: not just keeping that age focused and teaching them something, but them being that age and not speaking much English.  It’s not as if I could even skive off teaching properly and just get them talking to at least practice the language.

I’m not saying it didn’t go well, I covered at least most of what I planned to.  I just worry that the line between understandably less productive and being too soft was approached or even crossed.  Continue reading →

The Futility of Making Plans

Okay, so that’s a little melodramatic.  To be fair, if I’d made more plans I’d be fine: I made the mistake of assuming they’d be at a certain level and only preparing for that (in my defence, the teacher helping me out didn’t exactly warn me not to.)

And let’s not forget the things you hear about teachers – their workday doesn’t end at 3pm just because the school closes.  You hear about late nights marking or preparing lesson plans, and that’s what I’m already getting to experience – at least this week where I’ve fallen into a loop where I need to keep preparing for the next day.

Then there’s the unpredictability of what’s going to be changed.  No sooner did I realize last night that I could use my old plans after all by modifying them than I was told I’m going to spend tomorrow – and potentially Friday – focusing on the little kids.  That’ll take more than modification.  Sigh. Continue reading →

Me and my Glamorous Assistant

Okay, she’s not technically my assistant, but that’s the role she’s taking while waiting for the students she’s been hired to teach arrive.  It’s both great right now and nerve wracking that she’s going to be taken away from me: she’s really nice and a huge help in dealing with the two (wildly) different levels I’m dealing with.  We’re talking pretty good vs struggle with numbers and shapes.

Then again, things are constantly being altered, so maybe I’ll get to keep her. Continue reading →

Success! Well… YMMV.

For those of you who have successfully avoided the time waster known as TV Tropes (Google at your own risk, don’t be surprised if there are a bunch more posts here by the time you get back), YMMV means Your Mileage May Vary.

I’ll gloss over the rocky late start and impromptu timetable change – not due to me, for the record, but way to add to my nervousness – and get to the actual lessons.  Well.  More games than lessons due to a slight panic.

Ready! Not ready.  Ack. Continue reading →

Moi? A Teacher? Apparently.

Calm on the outside.

Calm on the outside.

“So you’ll be teaching from 9am to 2:30pm.  But then if they want to do the activities, we’ll need you to go with them as a minder – that’s okay, isn’t it?”

“Er… yes?”

And that is the short version of how I finally got one of those lucky breaks that only ever seem to happen to other people.  And then some.  Hello, deep end. Continue reading →