Sibyl’s Travelblog – Issue 4

Teaching.

We started teaching on Tuesday and it’s horrible! I am really hoping it gets easier because so far I hate it and dread it every day. We cannot prepare anything because we do not know who we are teaching before we are there. We go into class, they hand us a book and they just tell us to teach the page! I would even prefer if we could teach whatever we liked but we have to teach what the Vietnamese teacher wants us to and we can only know what that is when we get in the class. Occasionally it is not bad at all, though they tell you to do whatever you like (when you get in front of the class of 30 kids.) Very scary. You just have to make it up on the spot; whatever you are doing. I wish I had brought tapes of kids songs with me; that would be a perfect cover for not knowing what to do with them. Yesterday I got watched by the parents as well and I was not told what to teach – I had to make up games for an hour and a half whilst the parents scowled at me! We teach from Monday to Friday, 5:45 PM to 9:00 PM. I am exhausted by the end of it. I need to drink more caffeine in the day. We usually teach two hour and half classes but sometimes it is four 45 minute classes.

The first lesson I taught was lovely because the kids applauded when I came in – they get very excited about having western teachers. I think they misbehave more with us though. They were hard to control because for some reason the lights went off every ten seconds. The kids all knew the timing so they all chanted ‘10,9,8,7…’ to count down the lights coming on and then going off… and on… and off again. After they settled they sung a song to welcome me – ‘Old Mac Donald Had a Farm’. They also did role plays of stories they had written. They then came up one at a time and introduced themselves. So cute!

*In sweet Vietnamese accent*

“Hello my name is Hoi, My family has 4 people, my mother, my father, my sister and me, my mother is a teacher… etc.”
The second class I taught was a nightmare. It was in a computer room and I spent 45 minutes trying to stop them from going online to play games. They were really uninterested in what I was teaching them and the desks were so squished together I could not walk around to try and get their attention. I played a game with them which sort of worked, but had no voice by the end of the lesson!

After the first day I wanted to crawl into bed and never come out. Teaching has not got better yet either. God is giving me confidence though! I think as long as I can get through this first week it should get better after that! I am sure there will be many more teaching stories to come… I never know what to expect!

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