My father returns from Russia today. He’s been gone since June 20th. I hope things improve, but I’m not sure how that will happen. Apparently, he’s been receiving more messages about work here in LA, so if all goes well, we’ll be working on a production within the next three or four months. My tutoring hours have been steadily dwindling, partly because the students are lazy and don’t show up. I’ll get new students next week, and I’m also doing more work with an individual student on his application essays.

Still working on that essay for the Narrative submission. The going is tough.

Day Two

Had my second day of work today. I was worried over the weekend because I didn’t get a scheduling call, but turns out they lost my phone number and only found it this morning.

I’d like to think I’m improving, but who knows. Time management remains a crucial part of my problems. I have the desire to go in depth into every question, but unfortunately it’s not possible and becomes a great waste of time. This is especially true when students are uncommunicative.

Speaking of communication, I’m having a hard time getting through to some of them on a personal level. It’s difficult because I’m an introvert, and I’ve had to adjust to become a bit of an extrovert. I’m also having trouble keeping up their energy level, though I seem to have solved that problem by changing up the way in which we went over questions.

If class wasn’t enough, I spent three hours getting home on buses. Sadly, my house is only 15 miles away from my workplace. Maybe next time I should just walk home and save an hour.

Every time I get out of class, I feel like my brain has completely shut down, and I don’t feel like doing anything but sleeping. Next week I begin two two hour sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays. I can’t imagine how I will feel then. Probably very unhappy.

Day One

Had my first teaching/tutoring session. Two hours of near nonstop talking is a really bad way of teaching kids. Now I know better.

I’m exaggerating. I talked for less than an hour and a half of the total time period. But my throat sure did hurt afterwards. Overall, I realized I needed to be better prepared, even after an hour of prep time before class. I felt as if I kept repeating similar things over and over. I should have given them more writing assignments during the course of the two hours. They did get 25 minutes to do an essay outline and intro paragraph, but that really wasn’t enough. If I go back next week (and I hope I do), I’ll be assigning two essays during class.

The kids were cool; there were two boys and a girl, and the girl was really talkative, which was nice. She also seemed more interested in the material, and it was easier to maintain eye contact with her than with the boys, who were on the whole either shy or non-communicative. Working with more than one person is quite challenging. I couldn’t quite figure out how to work with them individually other than to come around and looking at their progress while they were writing.

One thing I noticed was that giving handouts is pointless if you can’t accurately describe what’s on them or you don’t have a way to transition into something relevant. Assessing myself, I think I just rambled on for a large amount of time, circuitously covering the material. At the end of the session, I asked them to tell me a few of the things they learned, and they were pretty good about restating a bunch of things I had talked about.

Thinking back, I was really worried about the amount of time I had to fill, but it went by ridiculously fast. Gotta plan better next time. I’m not this bad when I work with kids individually, I swear.