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.
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:
- Having a Yoshi and a Toshi in your class can get confusing.
- Word games like Pictionary and Catch Phrase are gold.
- Sarcasm and irony are lost on English learners – and I use those techniques a lot.
- Kids will do anything for a Tic Tac or Menthos.
- None of the kids knew what a tuque was or had heard of Gordie Howe.
- They all knew Muhammad Ali.
- 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.