Any other writers out there, who are also Teachers of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) may like to share this experience. I've done my share of private college teaching and decided to try what is known as At Home Tuition, or Host Family Tuition. In theory, I have just the qualities necessary: a nice, pleasant home ( in a leafy inner-city suburb of London); a great office overlooking the garden where I write, study and can now teach. I'm used to hosting students and young people in my home, after bringing up two demanding daughters (now young adults) who wouldn't be?
But agreeing to host someone in your own home for 1 or 2 weeks, during which time you are a mix of: B&B landlady, masterchef, housekeeper, teacher, colleague, friend and mother, is quite a daunting prospect. They not only live with you, but you spend between 3-6 hours a day actually teaching; then remove to the dining table to eat (breakfast, lunch and dinner); in between you scamper to the kitchen to make some delicious, healthy, and quick-to-cook meals. At the end of the day, your student either studies in their room, goes for a jog, or wanders off around London. While you collapse.....
I was going to write this on Sunday evening, when I was nervously waiting for my first 'victim'. He's a young French man who works for a major industry and needs better English to do his job or advance his career. I'm sure he was as nervous as me..... As it happens, this week my (new, young) husband is away. So our situation is even weirder, as it's just the two of us.
I've written a book about online dating (The Ultimate Guide to 21st Century Dating*) - but more on that to come later. I can tell you, that compared to the nervousness before meeting a 'date' or potential lover/husband, this seemed even worse. Although, thank heavens, we're not expecting each other to be the mate-made-in-heaven.
In fact, the young French man is just great. We get along well, he is really keen to study and learn. We've just completed our second full day of teaching. He's gone out for a jog (the rain has finally let up) and I'm back to my blog. How perfect! Let's hope all future students are as amenable and integrate as well.
Has anyone else had these experiences? I'd love to hear from you.