Wednesday, March 18, 2009

MIDNIGHT TEACHER


Or - the alternate title: WHAT DOES MOMMY DO ALL NIGHT?

I have ANOTHER new job! (Did I ever mention money was tight?) A better, and holier way of expressing this is that God has been providential, and just when I was going to despair, I was invited to make some money by staying up all night teaching Korean students via webcam!

OK, not all night, though it seems like it, rather. I begin at 2 and teach until 4. The time actually flies by, and I enjoy it a lot. Initially, I thought I would just get up, teach, and go back to bed, but as it turns out, I am too awake....I suppose I should have known I'd have to thoroughly wake up in order to teach! I'd thought that I'd drop my adult phone-English classes, then for the extra hour of sleep, but since I'm awake anyway, I just take a "blog break" from 4-5. Well, "blog/laundry/lunch-packing/breakfast-making, house-sorting" break. Or should "break" be in quotes? Then I go on to teach adults until time to get the kids up.

So. What's it like? The lessons are twenty-minutes in length and I can see all the students on the screen. In one school district there is one camera on the whole class, so I can see them move around - and I actually have them move from one to another and ask/answer questions. In the other school district they all have their own computer and webcam, so I can interact with them more individually. The students are in 5-8th grades. They are adorable. This is an after-school program, so they are the motivated and well-behaved ones, for the most part. The only really curious thing to me is that they all have "American" names. For the most part - John, Susan, Daisy, Lucy, Tommy, Billy, etc. However, in nearly every class there is a student or two with names like "Money" or in one case "Wheresthemoney". I have no ability to really address this issue from so far away so I have to call on them using those names, like I don't know how stupid it is. Weirder yet is that the kids are well-behaved, serious, not obnoxious, and just answer docily to the name. Today, odder yet, I had a child called "Hitler" in two classes! What the heck? "Hitler, your turn. What grade are you in?" It is crazy.

The weird downside to this job is the webcam aspect. I do like seeing the students - but they see ME. That means that I not only have to get UP at 1:30 am! I have to put something decent on - at least on top. So at present I am still sitting here in my nightgown and blazer. :) And makeup. I don't always even wear makeup in "real" life. But when you are having to look at YOURSELF (yes, I see ME on the screen, too.....), it sparks renewed "effort". And HAIR! I have to try and make my hair look decent! I think that it is for this I am paid; I'd volunteer the teaching part, but the hair and makeup part..... In the middle of the night..... Not at all my idea of fun.

OK..... If any of you certified teachers anywhere in the US would like to join this interesting enterprise, let me know and I'll give you the contact info. The possible teaching hours are actually midnight until 4, Eastern time. You lucky folks in the western time zones could do this without the mental and physical no-sleep stress those of us out here in the east experience.

16 comments:

Rachael said...

But when do you sleep?! This can not be healthy! Now I'm worried about you...

crispy said...

So, when do you sleep? I agree with Rachael, I am concerned about you.

Elena's Mom said...

I agree with Rachael and Crispy. You are going to pass out one day.
I have been trying to find online classes (that are not scams) to teach, but haven't been successful. I would volunteer to do this, but........not starting at midnight!

Tami said...

I'm with Rachel. I'm a bit worried about your lack of sleep.
I may be interested. Since I'm in the Western Time Zone it wouldn't be so bad. 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.? I think I could handle that... Could you send me some info?

Jen said...

Annie, you are a do-it-all, but make sure you have time for essentials, like REST and SLEEP! I have another friend who did this and her hours were a little more sane - like 6-10 a.m.

God bless you!

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Yikes, I have seen myself on computer cam and it would take a lot more than make up to help me there. Maybe a mask.
I would be interersted, is it every night, 5 nights? Here is my email
essie33@hotmail.com.
Thanks!

kate said...

My two Korean students had English names in their English schools. One (the boy) likes to be called by his in our school, too. His reasoning is English name for speaking English. (Actually, he had different English names in different schools so he chose the name he liked best.) My little girl prefers to be called by her Korean name.

I do wonder if we butcher his Korean name and that's why he prefers his English name!

Hang in there. And find time to rest! (Could NOT do make-up in the wee hours followed by house cleaning. Even our Saturday rehearsals with middle and high schoolers are declared no-make-up no-blow-drier days.)

Mandy said...

I had the same concerns! But I'd like more info about it too. I need to find a way to make a little more.

Annie said...

Mandy - could you send me your e-mail? Mine is anniekitching@hotmail.com

Tina in CT said...

No one could pay me enough to get up at 1:30, do my hair and make-up and then teach, do school lunches, laundry, housework and then go to my daytime regular job for 8:00. There has to be something better out there for you to work at. When do you sleep? It will catch up with you.

Kelly said...

Annie, I always crack up when reading your posts. I picture you in your nightgown and blazer talking to Hitler and Where's the money. You are awesome. Get some sleep!!!

Elizabeth said...

Aside from the sleep concern, do you find it hard to motivate yourself to be engaged while your students are miles away? It's not exactly the typical classroom situation.

However, if I had to pick up an odd job, I would much rather be teaching, and in the comfort of my home, than running around cleaning houses or babysitting or something.

I hope you are able to find balance!

Christina said...

Can you send me more information about this? Would they accept a sub. license (My regular license expired a few years ago and I have a sub. license for the state of Washington). Anyway, my email is cdblankenstein[at]hotmail[dot]com.

thanks,
christina

Susan said...

by the by Anne, Christina is Katherines (moving to Moscow soon) sister, and my oldest daughter!!
Just as a side note!

AdoptaMama said...

That was hysterical! I hope this is going well for you, but I, too am concerned about the sleep issue. I personally need at least 7-8 hours per night to function. Hoping you're doing well.

Wife to the Rockstar said...

YIKES. I could never do it. I am amazed.