I teach language courses. Every lesson and every student is a bit different, but basically I have to listen a lot. I let my students talk about their favorite subjects. They rarely ask me to talk about my favorite subjects, but some of them do. Sometimes I listen to 90 minutes of work related stuff, hobbies, travel (not my favorite topic at all), family related news, childhood memories, observations as to culture, showbizz news, series, movies, books (rarely, but it happens), more intimate issues, video games, conflicts at work, children, parenting, the discomforts and frustrations of every day life, comments on the news (sometimes superficial and wrong, sometimes profound and very on point).
I listen, I suggest new words and expressions, I translate Slovak words and sentences when they don’t know how to say certain things. I bring useful games along. I choose articles based on what they like and their level and concentration span. I lend them way too many books. A lot of them I never get back even when I explicitly state I want to get them back.
I am a chameleon. I adapt. One to one courses are always great. It gets tougher with larger groups, because I can’t adapt to everyone’s needs and preferences, so a certain type of person will be dissatisfied when am teaching groups. Luckily not every group has a person like that.
It’s not a glamorous job, the pay is ok, but not amazing either. My impact on world events is zero. It won’t get me medals, certificates, any kind of special acknowledgement and quite a bit of chaos and trouble I don’t feel like commenting on right now.
I love my job, most of the time I am very grateful to have my students in my life and I feel privileged I can work with them and see them regularly. I see my students more regularly than they see their own friends.
There is often room for humor as well, and even though not every topic is interesting to me and not everyone always has something deep and meaningful to say, I do learn new stuff in every single class I teach evey day.
I doubt people realize how much effort it takes to teach people and to have to be very considerate and empathic at all times, because even one mistake can be held against you.
But there are very few jobs I would rather be doing than this one. There are some, but I am too old to go after them now.
All in all am still pretty blessed. Am often negative in my blog posts, but am trying to be more balanced in what I share.