Open Doors

Well I finally had my first open door with one of my groups. I was praying the PA’s would forget about them and I wouldn’t have to do them. But no, unfortunately they didn’t. Usually every 15 classes the group there would be an Open Door. The parents come in and watch 45 minutes of the class. Then there is a discussion about the class and what the expectations are from the parents.

During the week I was gradually getting a little more nervous of the prospect. This particular class is very quiet. I have 2 girls and one of them is very quiet, whereas the other is a little better but it’s obvious she doesn’t want to be there and it’s hard to get her to co-operate. Oh, and they are also 5 years old.

Well my praying to my angels didn’t help. The open door didn’t go very well. The more active girl started bawling so that took up 10 minutes with her Dad trying to get her to calm down. Then they both wouldn’t do anything for me. I would say “RUN TO THE…. GREEN CHAIR!” and they would slowly walk to it.

Then for a game I decided to get them to ask “How many heads/eyes/ears… do you want?”….. Then the student would have to draw how many they said, so they have a picture of themselves, say with 10 heads and 5 legs. But because I couldn’t get a word out of them, the game went extremely slow… taking 45 minutes. I know I should have stopped the game and moved onto something else, but I suppose I was under-pressure and just didn’t think. So that meant the parents didn’t see much from the students. The parents then left and I taught the students for the remainder of the class. Miraculously, they started talking English when the parents left.

After came the meeting. My PA discussed with the parents while I just, well sat there. They were speaking in Chinese so I couldn’t even understand what they were saying. However I did hear the Chinese word for ‘but’ used quite a lot…… so I’m presuming that’s bad.

I think Open Doors are one of the hardest things to deal with. You may have great students, you may have a well planned lesson, but once the students notice their parents are there, you honestly don’t know how they will react. They could become extremely energetic and show their parents how good they are, or they could clam up and realise ‘oh no, my mother’s here. I’m afraid in case my English is wrong. Best if I don’t say anything at all’….and that’s what will happen, they just won’t say anything; which ultimately happened my 2 students.

And yay, I have another Open Door on Sunday with two girls. These are usually really well behaved and they speak good English, but you never know.

And another sad note, my favourite class is being moved to another teacher. I’m so sad. That was one class I didn’t mind teaching at all. I actually enjoyed going into that class. They were also MY students, whereas a lot of my other groups were passed down to me because of teachers leaving. This meant I could see their English improving from me, and I could see their English level getting better compared to their first class. The reason for this is because the parents wanted a male teacher from the start, but at the time only I was available. Now that there is a new male teacher available they are going to try it out with him.

My students are going to have to work really hard if they want to become my new favourites.


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