It was my first time of team-teaching the English Club, at a community center in Mutsuura, for 3-5 yo's. They just do. not. get. any. cuter. At first, I was a bit nervous. I mean, these are 3-5 year olds whose mothers have decided they need to learn some English. How can I capture their attention and interest? How is it going to be working with this more experienced teacher.
Well, at first this gal was a bit intimidating to work with. She had a loud, projecting voice and an aggressive command of the classroom. She called everyone to a circle, took command. She has been teaching the class awhile and very good at it. She planned the lesson and told me of what it was going to be; I was not a part of that process. Things will change though. Also, she took over the game I was supposed to teach, but I had never seen the game played before and wasn't sure what it was, so that was actually ok.
Still, I was feeling a bit "tagalong" at that point, and beginning to wonder both whether tag teaming is a good idea for me: I always seem to fade into the background against a more assertive or noisy person. I felt like the two of us were competing, and at the same time, could admire the other teacher who is obviously quite good at this!
Also, wondering whether I was cut out for this.
Then I relaxed and started to enjoy the kids in smaller groups and really had a blast. They are sweet and timid, but gradually transform into regular naughty cute little kids. I do have a quieter way, I admit, but also I try to read how the kids are responding and learning, and also ways to build speaking confidence. I feel like I can slow down and be thinking of the process in the moment. I want them to have fun and feel good about speaking, so that when they get into English class as older children, they'll have an edge. Not only that, to feel confident taking the risk of trying to speak up in a group. I love the shy child and the one who hasn't won a prize at our game yet. Actually, they are all lovable.
Sounds corny, huh?! I carved a pumpkin for them with Frankie's help, and with Nate wandering around aimlessly. The pumpkin carving was the most interesting part, I think. they sat around me in perfect silence, with huge eyes. I offered them a bite of the pumpkin guts, and I think that's when the ice really broke.
I think I'll be OK at this teaching thing. I hope!