Before you get me wrong by reading the title above, NO. I am not a professional teacher yet, I am still a college student majoring in English Education. Although I am not a teacher yet, but I do work in my spare time. As a teacher, obviously, and I am going to share my teaching experiences for my readers. This job is actually just my part-time job, since I am more into studying than working. Nonetheless, I am a lot more busier now. So recently I took 22 units this semester, but because of this part time job which obliged me to work 10 hours/week makes me feel like I took 32 units. *sigh*
FYI, I am Indonesian and so do my students. So I teach them English as their 2nd language. This is my pure thoughts since I just got my first real job, which is being a homeschooling teacher.
Behind The Scenes (BTS)
My lecturer contacted me a few weeks ago, saying that she had a job for me (to teach an elementary schooler.) Her friend wants to continue her study in Australia and she is going to take her family there. So she needs teacher to teach English to her children before their departure. Years ago, I was teaching toddlers and elementary schoolers but in a large number of students and I wasn’t paid for that. It wasn’t a formal teaching and learning activities too, it’s just a super-duper casual activities. But this time, this is homeschooling and I get paid. Since I was so tempted with the salary, I accepted the offer right away. I don’t even consider the consequences, e.g. teaching without books, different materials every meeting, creative ways of teaching so that the kids will not get bored easily (2 hours/meeting), the expenses of the materials, the icebreaker games, the response of them, what they’re going to tell to their parents about how I teach them, etc. Although I didn’t consider that, but I thought really hard of taking this big opportunity, since it will only come once in a while. Well, let’s just continue to the main story without further ado.
First day of teaching was quite adventurous. I don’t even know where the house is. I have to walk far away from my place to meet the aisle of their house. After walking for several minutes, asking some villagers about the definition of their house, then I arrived at their house. First meeting was quite awkward, I met them with their father and also grandparents. They were warm but I still felt awkward. I was so nervous, I thought they wouldn’t like me as soon as I enter the house, or they would immediately contact my lecturer and request to hire another person better than me. On top of that, I wasn’t ready to teach, I didn’t bring any materials and didn’t come up with any helpful teaching ideas. I started to teach but all is blank and the kids didn’t even comment. They were so quiet, which left me in guilt. In a nutshell, all I do was just asking information about them, btw their names are Gwyneth (9 y/o) and Reynard (8 y/o). I also asked about their parents, why their parents chose homeschooling (even though I already knew), and so on. Thank goodness they didn’t look for another person to hire. *sigh again*
The next day, I learned something from yesterday so I prepared some materials about how to introduce themselves in English. I also brought another materials to teach them about body parts. But I guess it doesn’t trigger their inner selves. I still can’t read their personality. So I concluded that I should come up with more creative ideas for the next meeting. They did learn something from me tho!
The next meeting, they became more friendly and I liked it! It boosted my mood immediately seeing how friendly they are to me. This time I am confident that I bring a good activity. I made a board game, it’s a game, but not in a board, since it’s hard to find board in a mountain (yes I live in a mountain, lol) and even if I found one, it would be expensive. So, I made it from a cardboard. They loved and excited seeing their new toys. The title is ‘Say 4 Things’ that are written in the cardboard. They were so enthusiastic and I admitted it, that is a very interesting game.
The fourth day, it’s kinda unusual. When I was about to enter the house, I heard someone crying. It was Gwyn. Suddenly, the atmosphere in the house was a little bit clumsy. I sat near their rooms, and then her Grandma approached me and asked me something like, “See? This is what happened when people choose homeschooling. The kids often arguing, fighting, and crying a lot. It’s better for them to study at school than at home, right? What do you think?” or something like that. I couldn’t answer but I nodded since I was shocked. After that, we continued the lesson. A few minutes passed, I asked her why she’s crying awhile ago. She said that they were fighting and it irritated their Grandma. She said it happened a lot when they were fighting. But overall, she could keep up with the lesson well.
Days gone by. We continue the lessons and the games. I made a few games so they won’t get bored easily. For example, “What’s The Time, Mr. Wolf?”, etc. And btw, mostly the lessons that I made are more like games, because the focus is to speak, listen and understand it. So since I made it into games, they interacted and communicated more to each other. But the things that made me struggling so much was not only about different materials every meeting, but also the location of my place and theirs. It’s a little far, but if I walk there and go back to my place by feet again for 10 times a week, it’s so tiring. Moreover, their house was downhill. So, yeah. that’s one of the strugglings that made me want to give up. But up until now, I thank God for this encouraging experiences of my future. Hoping for more amazing experience to come. 🙂