Saturday, April 30, 2011

Work life

Someday, I think I will have to have the two-sentence-convo with one of my employers - 'You're fired.' 'You can't fire me because I quit.'. His sense of integrity is somewhat higher than his wife (another employer of mine), however, it hasn't quite reached the standard of 'nice' human beings. They run a tutoring centre, yet, the main thing they care about is the apparent satisfaction of the parents. They could not care less about the well-being of the students as long as the parents do not utter a word. These tiny minded people seriously need to get out and experience the world a little more. They need to see that not everything in life is paid for with those colourful plastic stuff.

Having said that, I do quite love the colourful plastic stuff I get at the end of the week. Although, I need to revisit my list of wanted possessions or experiences, otherwise, I feel like I am saving up for nothing. I wish I was one of those people who indefinitely save, and when a calamity strikes, digs into their large pocket without a worry. Or those who save up for something that they want to do in five years time. I struggle to save for something I would like to do in five months! Here's a tip for bad savers: Do NOT use your bank account unless necessary. Every time I have some extra money in my bank, it seems to disappear within the next few days. The best method of saving in our family is to put the money in an envelope and give it to ma. She is an extremely disciplined person, so we can be quite sure our money is safe; and the simple act of putting it in the envelope myself gives my mind some peace and satisfaction.

Since I started tutoring a lot, there is a few changes that I noticed within myself. In certain situations, I can be very sure of what I want. I think this developed because children need definite answers - if I don't tell them what I want, they won't know. And because I have a position of authority, they are mostly willing to accept whatever demand I have. When I see the results of their work, it makes me a little more confident in asking for what exactly I need them to do. For example, after teaching fractions to a few kids, I have worked out exactly which approach to take, what to teach them first and what their level should be. Once you do that, the rest of the job is pretty easy. They look at you with awe - how can you know so much? :)

When teaching children, the best thing to do, I find, is to have complete confidence in yourself. Only then, are you qualified to assure them that they are able to have confidence in themselves, they can try doing whatever it is they do and that they will definitely succeed (eventually). If you don't know something, say, 'I don't know', with complete confidence, and smile. This actually goes for slightly older kids too, because, at the end of the day, you are the teacher. Of course, along with that, there needs to be honesty, humour, love and warmth. But without giving that vibe of confidence (even if you don't feel it), none of that really ties in together when teaching children.

However, the same logic does not really work in real life - not to the extent that it does in the classroom. It may come off as condescending, or controlling. The trick is to leave work at work and leave personal life wherever it lives. I am yet to master the trick.

Someday, I need to privatise this blog. Any future employers would take one look at my flaws, and run for their lives.

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