>I am now a glorified babysitter

>All throughout high school and most of college I thought that my calling in life was to work with children somehow. I wasn’t exactly sure if that meant teaching, or social work or what, but I was pretty sure children would be involved. In fact, when I applied for an internship in El Salvador for the summer after sophomore year, I requested to be placed with an NGO that served children. I was pretty disappointed that I got put with the agricultural NGO instead, even though I had way more knowledge and experience in that area. In the end, it worked out fine because I got to work with children in my community by teaching catechism classes and also by tirelessly playing with my four host siblings.

That being said, when I got to Chile and started my job I purposefully did not mark “children” on my preferences sheet for teaching. After my TEFL course I realized what a challenge it was to teach English to people who know how to sit still in a chair and pay attention for an hour straight. Because I’m not getting paid the big bucks to teach, I thought it would be easier to stick with teens and adults. I’ve done enough babysitting in my day, and the thought of being an English Language Babysitter did not appeal to me.

However, I was assigned a children’s class. This class of 11 lovely little 8 year old angels is on Saturday at 8:30 am. (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).

Let me just say, I’m not so sure anymore that my calling in life is to work with children.

I just get so frustrated! Also, since I’m so competitive with myself, I can’t help but wanting this to be an AMAZING experience for them. I don’t want them to get bored. I want them to have lots of fun and learn lots of English.

But it’s like pulling teeth. Between the pencil cases falling on the floor, the three rowdy boys fake fighting, half the students asking when we can go to the computer lab, three people at a time asking if they can go go the “toilets”, children speaking in voices so quiet that I can’t hear them when I’m standing right in front of them and only half the class paying attention at any one time, I want to pull my hair and scream.

And it’s not like I make them sit in their chairs the whole time. I have games, songs and always give them a longer break than what is scheduled (did I mention the class is 3 hours long?).

But still, the past two Saturdays I have left that class COMPLETELY drained.

So this is why, when my boss asked me if I wanted to give up one of my adult classes to teach another kids class at a school nearby, it was all I could do not to yell in her face, “Not over my dead body!!”


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