Teaching English: Part Two (Adults)

After my first year was complete, I ended up leaving my first job at English First and chose to work for a tutoring agency instead of a proper school. I enjoyed teaching (most of) my classes the previous year, but I wanted a change from the regimented 8-9 hour work day as well as a little more freedom to develop myself as a teacher. The school had be teach lessons solely out of a book and give regular exams. This way, I would be more like a freelance tutor, teaching classes periodically throughout the day with gaps in the day to do as I please, so I decided to give it a try.

Naturally, as there is with everything, there were a fair share of pluses and minuses with the transition. On the bright side, I got what I was looking for: more freedom and a flexible schedule. For example, one work day could be classes from 10:00-12:00, 4:00-5:30, and 6:30-8:00. Each would be in different locations, which did help me explore much more of the city, and the time in between was mine to do as I pleased, which definitely helped me develop more of a social life and take part in much more that the city had to offer.

I also have to admit, it was significantly easier teaching adults than kids (for the most part). I never had to worry about discipline, and I could now teach most of the lesson through conversation, whereas last year I had to do regimented activities and exercises. These features were all better, but there were several drawbacks, and the main one, to me, would be that adults are generally far less fun than kids. Yeah, I didn't have to yell at anyone to be quiet and pay attention, nor did I ever feel like I was about to pull my hair out from stress, but there were significantly less times in which I laughed and left a class with a huge smile on my face. And, looking back, this all gave me much more of an appreciation of just how creative kids can be, and depresses me a little bit on how many people lose it.

That said, I'm definitely glad I had both experiences. It would be hard to choose which one was better since they were both so different. I guess the best summary I can give would be this: teaching kids definitely has higher highs and lower lows. Adults are pretty much always in the middle. But between the two lifestyles, living as the freelance tutor definitely beats the regimented work schedule. That I can say for certain.