I had mentioned a few weeks ago about my wish to teach Japanese. The idea was born out of two things
- This blog which documents my journey as a self-learner
- My need to stay connected with the language
Around two weeks back, I had reached out to the language institute I had attended for Japanese lessons in search for a weekend teaching gig. I had some experience teaching random subjects to 15-17 year olds back when I was at university and thought teaching a language would be the same. The institute got back to me asking me to do a couple of demo sessions post which they would decide whether to hire me or not.
Last Sunday was my first class at the institute. I had before me 10 adults, some older than I, most with no knowledge of what Japanese sounded like. I began my class with basic vocabulary like ご挨拶 before introducing Hiragana. The entire session went on for four hours and by the end of it, we were all tired.
I remember the time I had been the student. The four long hours were difficult. But I kept going back because Japanese was my world. The others, however, did not have that motivation. The class that began with a strength of 10 people quickly reduced to a mere four or five. I had learnt then that not everyone loved the language as I did.
After my class, a few concerned students reached out to me hoping I would provide them a magic pill to quickly turn them into masters of the language. Truth be told, I was annoyed that they hadn’t done their research before coming. But I sent them off with a few words of encouragement, hoping they’d put in the time and effort learning a language needed.
While the students do their bit, I, as a teacher need to do mine. A major fear that I face is not knowing how to answer a student’s query. The fear that my own basics might not be so strong as I’d hoped creeps up time and time again. However, I’ve been told by my friend, an aspiring teacher of science, that this fear is common and that there’s nothing wrong with it.
I hope that my students and I overcome our challenges during the course of the next few months. Teaching Japanese is a totally new experience for me. It is certainly challenging, but there is a lot to learn here – about myself, about handling people, about teaching and learning a language.
It’s time to prepare for my next session. Lets go!