I made it through five straight days of teaching!
For the most part, it was an ok experience! I find the content too long for the time limit, but I think I am focusing too much on certain things and just not pacing myself properly.
All week I have only had 1 class each day. At least until Friday that is. Friday I had FIVE classes.
Thursday I had a class where the student had some technical difficulties. We signed off and on a few times and eventually just started the lesson 10 minutes late. I still couldn’t hear him but that was ok, it clicked in after a few more minutes. I wanted to get started. It was marked as “student IT problems” in my schedule though. I taught him again on Friday, more on that later.
Friday morning was good. My first student was the same student that I had on Monday for my first ever class. She is a sweetheart and is really nice to teach. Then I had a half hour break until my 2nd class. Teacher feedback said this student was shy and that he didn’t really like to participate. I noticed that while I was waiting for the clock to countdown to start time, he was drawing on the first slide. I started to draw along with him (without turning on my camera) and then when it was time to start he was already smiling and ready to go! Super awesome!
I went out for dinner with the wife for her birthday (the calendar idea is on hold for a little bit right now), and got back in time for my THREE classes at night. Friday and Saturday nights are the only nights that there are classes (Saturday and Sunday morning Beijing time).
My first class went really well! Then a 30 minute break and another class. This little guy had the camera on a full 30 minutes before class! He was making faces and silly noises into the camera. What a ham!
We drew on the screen together, and then we started our lesson. He had some sound issues for the first minute or two but then it got all sorted out and we had a good time. He was funny and liked to be silly. He had a bubble of snot in his nose though! OMG it was soo gross! (reason #3856 never to have children) and it took about 20 minutes until his mom noticed and came with a tissue so he could blow his nose….in front of the camera….with the sound on…..I had to go over options for his final project but he didn’t really seem to understand. But I am sure his mom will help him haha.
My last class was this guy from Thursday – the one with the tech problems. Well I see him just sitting there, and I turn on the camera and say “Hello!!” I see his lips moving but no sound. I use hand gestures and speak “I can’t hear you” And make a sad face. We try a few little things but I knew the lesson was the exact same as Thursday so I asked if he was ok to start with no sound. His lips said ok, so we started.
I learned that I am a master at reading lips. Having already done the lesson with him, I knew which words he would need to repeat a few extra times (thirteen for example. He says it like fourteen. Even though I couldn’t hear him, I made him say it like 10 times haha!)
The lesson wasn’t actually too bad. It kind of sucked not being able to hear him, but I could tell he was ok speaking by what his lips were doing. And then we played some pictionary at the end since we finished early. He even sang the goodbye song with me right at the very end!! Which, again, I couldn’t hear but oh well. I made sure to send a message to the company to see what I can do. They didn’t mark his lesson from last night as “student IT problems” so hopefully it’s been accepted as completed.
I have just one class Sunday morning, but after that I have all next week fully booked. 3 classes Mon-Fri. Starting at 7am…..oooo goodness 7am is going to suck. But I have learned my lesson and only have classes from 7:30 after next week.
It’s been an adventure this first week! Hopefully I will continue to enjoy it and adjust to my alarm clock again.