On teaching English to adults, and some other stuff.

Posted on Posted in expat life

About a month ago I began teaching only adults at the school. At first, I was a little bummed-I really enjoy hanging out with the little ones and the balance of teaching children in the morning and adults in the afternoon kept me sane. But this change has been fun. I like being able to learn about the cultures of other places from an adult point of view, and being able to joke with them on a different level. Of course this means that they frustrate me on an adult level as well-being disrespected by an adult is, to me, way more infuriating than a child, because they generally know exactly what they are doing, and how it is wrong. I have also been subjected to far more gender based prejudice from some students. It seems that some men from some cultures have far more problems with me than with my male counterparts. But it’s nothing I can’t deal with. At least so far. Also, some of the adult students seem to do this thing where they think somehow I work for them because they pay money to attend the school? It’s weird.  Ain’t cool, yo. I’m a teacher, not a freaking waitress. Do the work or get out mah face. Take some responsibility for yourself and your education. But I digress.

So anyway, last week, my boss/head teacher asked me if I could cover a morning children’s class for the next two weeks while the teacher is on holiday. And of course I said yes. But surprisingly enough-I really miss my adults! It’s kind of a bummer. I had no idea I’d like teaching these adults as much as I do. With kids, it’s half babysitting. And 90% of them don’t want to be in any school, particularly not learning a language. Can you say boring?? Those kids are bored/complaining/begging to play games every minute that isn’t spent playing Hang Man (have I mentioned that kids apparently loooove Hang Man??). They’re always on their iphones/ipads/cell phones.  At least with the grownups I can assume that they understand the importance of taking advantage of the opportunity to learn English in England, since that’s what they’re here for. (Again, I want to point out that I don’t think people should feel as if they must learn English, but if you’re here to study, it’s safe to assume that’s what you want, right?) So the onus is on them to cooperate and take part in class. And if they don’t want to, they don’t have to show up. But with the kiddos…man. I kind of forgot how stressful it can be, wrangling a class of 10 children under 11 who are just counting down the minutes until the next break. It’s frustrating, to say the least, and it’s been a rough few days trying to get my head back into the teaching kids vibe, vs the relative ease I’ve gotten used to over the past several weeks. Technically speaking, all the kids are on summer break in their own countries, and they’re stuck in England studying a language. Of course they only want to do the fun adventures that can only take place outside of the classroom!

So after these two weeks Bridgette will return to school, and I’ll probably, but not for certain, return to teaching adults all day. My fingers are crossed for it really, but I’ll take whatever works for the school and do the best with what I have-however ornery the kids/adults may be. Since I only have another 5-6 weeks until the summer season (and therefore my contract) ends, I’ll just keep pushin’ on, thankful to have paid work that I-mostly-enjoy, with good people to keep me company.

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