My manager called me soon after and we discussed what I could do to improve for the next session. He said that I did an excellent job by making the two girls feel comfortable by smiling through the whole session. However, he observed that I did talk too fast. By speaking slower, I would be able to help the children catch onto some of the words and phrases I was saying as well as understand me more clearly.
We came up with techniques to make the next session more successful. I would make simple videos and exercises to guide the students and prepare them to get ready before the session the following Saturday. These videos and exercises would be grouped according to different topics each week. For example, the next session would be about simple greetings and introductions. Whereas, the session after would be about talking about oneself and so forth.
From this first session, I realized multiple things. For one thing, being the teacher wasn’t easy at all. In addition to that, teaching a second language to anybody required effort from both sides. I had to be welcoming and understanding to them even if they made a mistake and make the environment comfortable enough for them to ask me any questions they had. I had to have the utmost patience with the children and continuously rephrase the sentences so that they could understand what I was saying. The children at the same time had to be prepared with the material beforehand and be ready to put in a lot of effort to learn English.
The biggest epiphany I had was that it was as big of a first time experience for them as it was for me. They had never conversed with anybody who spoke a different language than their mother tongue, Odiya and I had never taught English to people whose first language was something other than the universal language. It was important for me to put myself in their shoes and understand their situation too.
This journey to teach these beautiful children was going to be a difficult and challenging one for sure, but the rewards would outweigh the costs. My ultimate goal is to help my students realize their dreams and help them one step at a time to strive towards achieving it. Slowly, but surely I will help these children succeed in learning the continuously growing language, English.