There was a short time during my university days that I thought about getting into teaching. However, as soon as I got accepted into journalism school, that idea disappeared and I turned my attention to writing headlines and not missing deadlines.

Fast forward almost 20 years and I’ve suddenly found myself in a classroom teaching middle school kids English. Like my blossoming coaching career, my teaching gig came out of desperation as my slightly-employed status isn’t exactly paying for our flights home this July.

Here’s my class hard at work. It’s all about digital, interactive learning these days. And lots of bean bag chairs.

But, thanks to teaching 8 kids English for 3 hours a day over 15 days in June, I’m making enough cash to get back to Regina and will have a bit left over to pay for my Par 3 punch pass once I arrive.

Never having taught before, my first day was scary. But, with Trina teaching in the room beside me (and planning my entire first week of lessons), I really couldn’t go wrong. And the kids are pretty cool too – they always listen to me when I talk about hockey or winter.

Here are a few thoughts from my first two weeks:

  1. Having a Yoshi and a Toshi in your class can get confusing.
  2. Word games like Pictionary and Catch Phrase are gold.
  3. Sarcasm and irony are lost on English learners – and I use those techniques a lot.
  4. Kids will do anything for a Tic Tac or Menthos.
  5. None of the kids knew what a tuque was or had heard of Gordie Howe.
  6. They all knew Muhammad Ali.
  7. Grade 6 boys love feats of strength – one of the boys could pick me up slightly off the ground gaining the class’s instant respect.

All in all it’s been a fun experience, but I’m now certain that I didn’t miss my calling all those years ago. I also have even more respect for what teachers do. I can’t imagine having a class of 30+, or having to deal with deadbeat parents or simply entertaining kids for 5 hours everyday. It’s an exhausting, noble profession that I’ll be glad to retire from after the end of this week.