I am an educator.
When I was in high school, I didn’t want to be. Yet, somewhere along the line, I realised I really like teaching; so much so, in fact, that it’s been my official and main job for two years now. This year, I have two tutoring jobs, both of them teaching Japanese.
The first one is at the university level. This past semester, I’ve had a lot more autonomy than I’ve had before, which is very good, but it was hard! Definitely a learning experience, and I messed up a lot, but succeeded a lot as well.
Between creating lesson plans for such things as the counters for books and flat objects…
…and going through material like those with my favourite Japanese teaching tool, Erin ga Chousen!, as well as realising that Erin, though fun, is not good for beginning students… I swear I learnt a lot about teaching and time management.
My other tutoring job is a private lesson thing. I teach a young boy Japanese. He’s brilliant, and reaching the point where he’s remembering the characters! Sometimes I felt I was too mean, writing in hiragana (Japanese script), and not romaji (the letters we use in English), but it’s working out, which I’m glad for.
The teaching of children is markedly different from the teaching of university students! Children get distracted easily; you have to take breaks. A one-on-one situation, though, allows you to learn about your student’s likes and interests more easily than a group, and you can cater to the student more easily. My young student likes to draw, so I have him draw pictures of the different vocabulary words we’re studying, sometimes.
He’s got pretty good at drawing cars:
One of the cool things about teaching is that each student is unique. One of my university students had an informal session with me and a classmate of hers once, in which she outlined the Korean alphabet. She’s self-taught, and communicates with native Koreans online. Let’s call her Z-san:
This was fun, but don’t bother asking me anything about it. I remember nil and a half. Z-san is a good teacher, though. Thorough.
So! As you can imagine, it was a fun, but somewhat tedious semester… I laughed, I cried, I did it all. (Okay, I didn’t really cry… much. ^_^)
I like being an educator!