I’m teaching again! Yay!
Months ago, as soon as we moved in, a couple of our new friends showed me around as the prized foreigner in this small town. They were telling me that I should teach English, French or whatever else I wanted to. Seeing that I was willing, I was promptly introduced to two other young women of about my age (I will call us young as long as I can get away with it! — I now learned that one indeed my age and the other 10 years younger, ha!), the director of the local high school and her friend, a teacher as well. Unfortunately the position for an English teacher at the high school had already been filled, but they were telling me that it was badly paid anyway. Why would I want to slave away all week in that school, like themselves, when I could teach privately with much more flexibility in the schedule, teaching program, and eventually (if there were enough students) a better pay? They had a point, but how was I to organize such a venture in a country where I had never worked before?
“Teach here!”, they told me, “You can use the empty classrooms in the evening at no cost”. More importantly, they were both interested in having classes themselves, so that was already two students for my first group…
“It would still be better to have a small group of about 4 to 6 students”, I said.
“Let us speak around us and we’ll get back to you”, they replied.
I gave them my contact info and left it at that.
In the meantime, in one of the very few furniture store in town, the vendor heard that I was a foreigner and started chatting with me. He asked if I spoke English or French and if I could teach him. I explained that I was looking into it. We exchanged our contact info and parted ways on a friendly, “Let’s keep in touch!”. Surely this was A Sign!
An entire month came and went, but still no word…
I finally passed by the school one day to see what was up. Neither of the girls were there.
I thought then that what I had seen that very first day was yet again some fake Brazilian enthusiasm; a lot of fluff, but not necessarily having true premises. I told myself to forget the matter.
Then out of the blue, the store clerk remembered my name and contacted me on FB about those blasted language lessons. What’s up with the universe?! Was I supposed to do something about this or let it go?
So I went back to the school once again to inquire about the matter. Luckily the director was there that day. She seemed as happy to see me as the first time and assured me that she and her friend were still interested in learning English. So we agreed then and there on a day and time to start. I thought that even if we started with a small group of 3 students, I would do it anyway. Obviously not for the money (because with only 3 students that will be very little indeed), but because I simply love to teach! I like to spend hours planing a lesson, trying to find podcasts, songs or videos that will be interesting and build up my students vocabulary, hear their accents in English, recognize the difficulties, identify with them because I used to be them, and give suggestions to make some progress. Ah, it’s so fun!
The first lesson was yesterday evening. Ironically the boy who gave me the final incentive didn’t show up (hopefully he just missed the starting line?). It was only me and the two girls, but it went very well. I wasn’t sure how to prepare for the first lesson without knowing their level. They are not entirely beginners, because they’ve had some lessons a long time ago, but looked lost when it came to listening/understanding/speaking. They seemed genuinely eager to learn though, so that’s half the battle!
Let’s hope that the famous grapevine works in my favor. I wouldn’t mind earning a bit more than pocket money…