That’s it. I’m a teacher now. I have taught students under a contract of employment, for which, at some point, I will be paid.
Perhaps it was not the ideal start to my career – I was unable to plan and prepare fully as I don’t yet have access to all the materials. I had spent some time reviewing the materials I had, and knew how I would be approaching the first lesson for which the Russian teacher from whom I was taking over had prepared a thorough plan already.
I had a brief lesson plan for the second lesson, which would be with two young brothers, but I needed a lengthy discussion with the Russian teacher before the lesson (before both lessons, as the boys were my second lesson straight after the first). I sketched out an order of events with some key notes of handy advice for teaching children (“Tell them to put the homework paper in their bags, if you don’t they will draw all over it!”).
And then suddenly my first student was here – a gentleman in his 70s, who had been attending English lessons for 3 years. I tried to remember to smile, be polite, speak slowly, use simple language. I’m sure I made mistakes.
My lack of experience showed as we spent too much time on introductions and then reviewing his homework. I found it difficult to get the balance between politely letting him speak – he had a lot to say but could not say it very fast – and moving the lesson forward. We did not have time for the final video and associated exercises, which was a pity.
The lesson flew by and then suddenly I was in my second lesson with the boys. Young, mischievous, cheeky, and great fun to teach. I think I got a firm rapport with them, they enjoyed my games and engaged with my teaching style. The lesson moved a lot more quickly than my first, but they struggled with the key grammar element and I had to spend a little extra time on that, which again meant I was not able to finish the final task.
Afterwards I wrote up my review of the lesson – I don’t yet have an account on the school system so I just did it by email. I also had to sort out the papers and discs and makes sure everything went back where it was supposed to go – I could not remember what was mine and what I had borrowed from the Russian teachers!
Once I was in the lessons, everything more or less flowed (just one moment where I couldn’t find the audio I needed but there wasn’t time to play it anyway). The hard part of this job is the planning, the reviewing the materials and the language and making sure you know all the answers and how to explain things without using language more complicated than the language you are teaching. It will get easier with time, but I have many lessons scheduled this week so I will be getting lots of practice!