As I pinned Melissa’s arm to the table, the chorus chimed in: “Melissa is weaker than Stacy. Stacy is stronger than Melissa.” I flexed my arm muscles in victory while Melissa fake-grimaced in pain. We were teaching an English class, and Melissa’s lesson plan was about opposites and comparisons. To demonstrate, she had thought of an impromptu arm wrestling match between the two of us.
Technically, I was the English assistant in the class. With only two weeks left in our program, the CEO of the building where we take Arabic classes had asked two students to teach an English class every day after our classes finish. I didn’t feel qualified, but when one student took a day off, I volunteered to fill in as an assistant. There are always opportunities to teach English around the world, and I thought I’d find out if I liked it.
My conclusion: teaching English is not really for me. It feels too much like performing, and I have never felt so tired in my life as after that one class! But, I have to admit–it’s really fun to meet all the students and see the ones that are clearly excited about learning. This group, made up of mostly 10- and 12-year old boys, was particularly passionate. They loved answering questions and being in front of the class. (As a result, I taught them Simon Says and let them take turns being Simon.) When we started asking them questions, they wanted to talk about soccer, television, Justin Bieber and for one particularly daring student, his secret crush. I doubt that I’ll ever teach English in the future, but after that day, I understand why some people really love it!