The rest of my classes that first Saturday were not nearly as bad but I still found myself drained and stressed by the end of it. Even after coming from working longer hours I had never been so mentally and physically tired. I have worked as a labourer and as a community staff worker both of which can get pretty intense but apparently running around after little kids still took a greater toll.
Admittedly as time went on I found myself less stressed and less tired by classes and the job became in some ways the easiest I had ever had, but for those first few weeks it was tough. One of the biggest issues even as I became more comfortable was simply keeping up with what was going on in the classroom. When you have up to 18 little kids all running around and you are supposed to keep them all entertained and active for 90 minutes it can get to be a headache.
Now the T.A.s were always a great help but all of our classes especially our younger ones were supposed to be based on TPR (total physical response) methods. That means that the kids need to be running, dancing, singing and playing games along with the simple act of learning a new language.
It is also, to begin with at least, be very frustrating when no one (including the T.A.) understands what you are saying or what you want them to do. Simple games can take forever to set up and demonstrate and when that happens kids get bored fast. Bored kids tend to do things you'd rather they didn't and on it goes.
I feel like I am making this all sound pretty terrible but honestly it really did have it's bright moments and tomorrow I'll try and find a few of those gems rather than go on complaining about how tough it all is :)
Rory McDonald is an online marketer and digital entrepreneur, co-founder of the Online Business Expert and passionate blogger.