Because of a hastily thought out promise, I’m going to be working at a tutoring firm for more than 2 months. And because I wrote this out hastily, I’ve left out a lot of probably embarrassing details and/or made a few mistakes here and there.
But anyhow, I had thought I would be tutoring kids (which I am), and I’m completely fine with kids. But because of some differences in expectations, I was a bit surprised overwhelmed on the first few days (the beginning of this week).
Normally, when my friends ask if I want to play poker, I normally assume they want to ask if I want to play one poker game at a time with one hand in my possession. What I don’t normally assume, is that they want me to hold 8 hands and play 8 different games all at the same time.
So when I took the job, I made the assumption that I would be tutoring kids one-on-one, or even if I was teaching a whole bunch of them, it would be a class and I would be teaching all of them the same thing. I guess it was stupid of me to make that assumption, because it couldn’t have been any further from the truth.
I was in charge of a bunch of students. They were all from different schools, different grades and needed help on different subjects, sometimes in different languages. And for those of you unfamiliar with the practice of “dictation,” it involves the dictation of something and the student writing it down, to see if they know the word. At some point, I remember vaguely holding a few books in my hands and switching from one to the other while walking around, carrying out three dictations (two in Chinese), while making up questions on the spot to quiz two other students on social sciences, and coaxing another student to do his homework. And sometimes, some kids are difficult to handle.
I personally thought it was a little chaotic and messy, like
playing 8 games of chess at once. playing one game of poker, chess, monopoly, and checkers, while singing a song and juggling bottles. Oh, and put a bed of hot embers underneath my feet so I have to constantly hop around to avoid being burned.
Oh, and did I mention that I’ve become very unfamiliar with the subjects after leaving high school? It’s a little awkward to be grilled on multiple subjects which you’re not very familiar with. Or stuff that you never learned. At many times, I didn’t really know what to say, just like George W. Bush when being asked about U.S. politics.
And… I’ll eventually have to take care of the administrative responsibilities as well, like accounting for the tuition fees. I feel a little like a one man band. What I need is 8 arms to make my life easier.
I’m feeling a lot better about it now though. I’m starting to remember what I learned from high school. My back no longer aches from bending over students all day to see what they’re up to. I actually still had the energy to walk after getting off work today. It’s starting to look good.
I suppose another way of looking at this is that this could be a great chance for me to grow as a person. In that case, I’ll grow 6 more arms and evolve into something that can multitask better.