Last weekend was the first time self taught English as a tutor. The pay is so freaking good – much much better than current part-time job – and the workload so little that am somewhat guilty for being paid so much to do so little. Yet, that’s the typical rate for personal tutors.
Self’s first ever student, Raine, is a twenty-something banker trying to improve her English for career prospects, particularly her grammar and pronunciation. Got this job through our local community forum; she lives nearby self’s place (and am paid so handsomely at that – can you believe the guilt!). She’s pleasant-looking, and seems earnest in improving her proficiency. Generally like Raine and feel comfortable around her. Her proficiency is rather weak – she has difficulty mastering the present progressive tense – and her speech just as lamentable – she often mixes her ls and rs. It is quite understandable, seeing that she comes from a Chinese education background and mostly uses English in her workplace and little elsewhere.
It was only our first class, but it went pretty well for the both of us, if should say so self. She is a nice enough student to have, though she did moan a bit when suggested that she write an essay to gauge her proficiency level, but she compromised by offering to do it as homework instead. Made her do some exercises for simple present and present progressive tenses for a large part of the two-hour class. While she did that, self read a book. Felt kind of awkward because it looks as if am basically being paid to do nothing at this point! But there really was nothing to do, so read the book self did. After she completed an exercise or two, would mark it and explain her mistakes, which were aplenty and of the same kind. No matter, it was only her first class, after all.
Then, to help her improve her speaking skills, had made her read a random newspaper article from the business section. It would have been quite woeful if she had done it in front of a class – perhaps the reason why she hired self as a personal tutor. She couldn’t read out loud one complete sentence without stumbling over some word or other. Suppose had thrown her off the deep end by choosing a business article to read, but she did say it’s for career prospects, so thought there was no reason to read the leisure section of the newspaper then, right? No matter, it was only her first class, after all.
Before our first class, had fretted a bit – okay, knowing self it’s probably more than a bit – about conducting self’s class. Had seek help from Ms Nut (ex-teacher from secondary school) and Big Jaws (easy-going English lecturer from self’s college), getting advice on how to teach as well as borrowing learning materials from them. On top of that, had asked Strawberry to share her experience as a tutor. So hopefully self’s somewhat thorough planning justifies Raine having to fork out a substantial amount for self’s services, and not even a professional at that.
(Oh, by the way, she has no clue at all that she’s self’s first student. Haha.)
Well, had really enjoyed teaching Raine the first time, and hope that she enjoyed the way self teach (and not suspect that am a novice at tutoring, which may make her question her pretty expensive fees!), and hope that she would not quit classes anytime soon, seeing that she has looooong way to go in improving her English. Entirely possible, though, of course!
Perhaps it is too soon to tell, but feel like teaching is really self’s calling. Have always had this feeling, and this seems to confirm it. It felt pretty good to educate a person, imparting knowledge and having someone appreciate that knowledge self have enough to pay self to impart it!