So, my first full day of teaching English as a foreign language is over. It was an interesting start. The morning class is for the staff here at the clinic. Ive already been hanging out here a lot and chatting with them so I knew who my students were going to be. The only new addition was the doctor who I hadn’t met yet. Things went smoothly but at the end of the lesson when I was asking them what they liked and didn’t like about previous lessons before I got there, they all seemed to enjoy just conversing. So going forward I’m going to just come up with topics to talk about and find ways to get everyone in the group talking.
In the afternoons I will be going to a school a few kilometers away where I’ll have a different group of students each day. Monday will be 9-11 yr olds, Tuesday will be 8-9 yr olds, Wednesday will be 11+ and then 8-9 yr olds on Thursday again. This will be my biggest challenge as the classes are mixed with different levels of English. I’ll have to find creative ways to get everyone involved. The native teacher did comment afterwards that the smallest girl never usually speaks but she spoke for me and was surprised about that. There was a really bright girl who I immediately knew would be my go-to student when I need language modeled for the other kids. I’m also going to have to just face the fact and get used to questions about Justin Bieber in every class I have.
The night class is the real interesting one. It starts at 8pm and will be held every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday night. It’s open to anyone from the village but they’ve been averaging just a few girls each night. They call it the adult class but the age range for my class today was 14-18. Word must have gotten out that there is a new male teacher in town because the turn out for my class was the highest it has been at 7 girls. They were giggly and outgoing from the beginning and I once again had to answer for Justin Bieber. My reply when asked if I like Justin Bieber is “Baby, baby, baby ohhhh” and that seems to get their respect. These night classes are gonna be a lot of fun. It will be a mixture between doing lesson plans and just chatting. I can tell that too much structure will bore them but not enough structure will get the lessons off track. I’m up for the challenge. I tried to see if they’d let me change the schedule and do the 4th class on Thursday instead of Friday so I could have 3 days off in a row but they were pretty set on the current schedule. I do need to head into Medan one weekend so I’ll either switch that week to Thursday or cancel the Friday class. We’ll see, it’s up to me, I’m the teacher now! I can make the rules!
It was a successful day overall. I can’t say enough about the commute to the afternoon class. It’s a beautiful drive where I get to stare off at distant rain forest mountains. The colors here are fantastic. The greens are bright green and the sky is really blue. I think I’m going to enjoy the commute!