This week’s classes went better than last week, mostly because I knew what to expect when the connection wasn’t so good. Learning from prior experience, I had a few tricks up my sleeve prepared for when the wifi didn’t cooperate. From last week’s classes, I realized that sometimes when the audio was really “卡“ （choppy），the best way to communicate was to write on the board. Because some students didn’t check the chat as often, but they could all see the letters that were on the board. If I knew the connection was bad for some students but ok for others, I would try to write down key things from everything I said, bullet-point style. I guess my fast writing skills from years of taking notes in history classes paid off 🙂 Also, I know that when I am learning a new language like french, I always find it easier to understand something when I could also read the words corresponding to what was being spoken. And I think by writing the words and sometimes drawing pictures on the screen, the students also found it easier to understand what I was saying. Using the whiteboard, I could also do draw and guess games, which I think worked especially well when we did vocab.
One of the challenges this week was, surprisingly, because of an issue on my end. My little sister, who is just five years old, decided to pop into my class a couple of times. Which normally isn’t much of an issue, because the students find her really cute, and she’ll just wave hello and smile, and maybe show one of her toys to the camera. But this week we had a little incident. She was taking a shower, and I think my mom went off to find her some clothes, and Elena decided to come running to the study (the room in the house where I teach) and try to say hello again. Except for this time, she wasn’t wearing any clothes, she didn’t even have shoes on, and was dripping wet in water. In my head, I was screaming oh no, omg please not now, but I was also teaching on camera, so I had to frantically wave at Elena to not come to the computer. I think I must have looked super funny and weird on screen trying to stop myself from laughing and trying to wave my sister away at the same time. Thankfully Elena got my message after a few seconds and just pouted then went away without coming to the camera. But learning from this incident, next time I might have to lock the door to the study to protect myself and my students from a certain 5-year-old shower escapee.
Aside from the teaching, we also met up with members of our program to work on a presentation together. But one of the first things we had to do was tell each other our life story. It’s the first time I’ve ever listened to someone’s entire life story in just 10 minutes, and also had to tell my own in ten minutes. It was really fun though, me and Austin’s life stories were very different from each other’s, but that meant the stories were a lot more interesting to hear about, and a lot more meaningful as well.