Friday, April 15, 2011

not sure they've put 2 and 2 together

I've told my bosses that I'm planning a transcontinental walk that's happening later this year. I'm still not sure they realize that this means I'll be gone in a few months. I was told, earlier today, that June and July are going to be fairly slow months at YB, but that August is when it gets intense, because some kids are trying to get a preview of what they'll be studying in the fall at school.

In other news: one of my students, who's Chinese, says he wants to learn French and Korean. I'm going to ask my boss whether it'll be OK to add this to what he's currently learning. While I'd never trust myself to teach anything beyond Level 2 Korean, this guy's an absolute beginner, so I know I'd be safe teaching Level 1 to him. As well as French 1.

The week ended well, at least. It started horribly with an obstreperous student on Monday, improved a great deal on Tuesday, went bizarrely on Wednesday (returning to the mean?), and finished splendidly this Thursday evening. Overall, I generally like what I'm doing, but as I noted before, I'm very uncomfortable teaching outside my competence, and don't see how I'm helping students who need more than I can offer them. One strategy I've adopted, for those occasions where I'm ignorant about the subject I'm supposed to be teaching, is to ask the students to go back to the most basic concepts (e.g., with graphing parabolas: vertex, axis, focus, directrix), study them, and then explain those concepts to me as if they were the teachers. One student joked, "then you should be paying us." Heh. Smartass. He's never heard of student-centered learning, I guess. It still hasn't caught on in most public schools.

Yesterday (by which I mean Wednesday), I had a female student who seemed, at first, too tired to do her SAT work. This evening (i.e., Thursday), while driving home, I began to wonder whether she was hypoglycemic (look especially under "neuroglycopenic manifestations" in the linked article). She did seem irritable-- possibly indicating dysphoria-- and her reaction time after the first hour of tutoring seemed creepily slow. I remember asking her one or two questions, and there'd be a long pause of five full seconds before she rolled her eyes up to me and said "...what?" The more I thought about it tonight, the more I began to suspect hypoglycemia. I should have told her to go out and buy a soda. It was this girl whose behavior made my Wednesday so bizarre.

Anyway, it's the weekend for me. I've got those IRS forms to send off to get the 501(c)(3) ball rolling, and some personal matters to take care of.


1 comment:

John said...

You may have seen this already, and you have definitely lived it, but it made me laugh and I've never worked in a Hagwon...