So everyone wants to hear a little more about the teaching side of things, so I have decided that (as Callum is napping on the sofa) I shall attempt to put some of this last week in words.
As you already know, we were supposed to only have 3 pairs of lessons each, one of our own and two covers for a colleague on holiday, and yet we both ended up with about 4 extra lessons. That’s six extra teaching hours. Although to the teachers out there that doesn’t sound like a lot, imagine being new at a job, lets say, bar tending, and being told that you’ll only be asked to serve on a busy Saturday night when you’re ready. Then being asked to work your first busy Saturday night, not because you’re ready, but because someone else called in sick.
This week has been a roller coaster week. We have both left lessons dripping with sweat, grinning from ear to ear, and being on the verge of tears. We have both taken over an hour to plan one lesson, and both had to plan lessons in less than twenty minutes. We have both had help from the other staff members, and found that when we needed help, we were the only two in the office. The printer has broken, and been replaced with the printer that broke the last time (needless to say it is constantly giving up again). We have worked until after 9pm some days, and before 0830am others.
So why are we going back?
I suppose we’re going back this week because of the kids. Because when you are there to witness their understanding of something, their “lightbulb moment”, that’s incredible. You have been a part of that. When they turn around and tell you pretty fluently about the biggest snake in the world, you realise you gave them something to help them express themselves. When a whole class tells you together that you should go to “the crazy hospital”, you realise that you have helped a bunch of kids that otherwise would have nothing in common, bond over calling a teacher crazy. And in a world where Google, television, and mobile phones are replacing actual human contact, bonding, and knowledge acquisition, those moments are suddenly very special.
These kids, and kids all over the world, are really gaining things from teachers. And we aren’t the best, don’t get me wrong, we both still stress over the length of lesson plans, and whether there are enough dice in the cupboard, ot what to do if someone is incredibly naughty, but we have begun to realise that we’re giving these kids something other than the English Language. We’re giving them freedom to actualise dreams, opportunities to make new friends, knowledge to help them realise themselves.