I have been thinking a lot about my interview with VIPKIDS and it was a bit rough around the edges. I had no focus or style. There was nothing to really grab the kid's attention from the start and just go full out for the 25 minutes. Time management is important but so is keeping things moving and interesting. I hate to say it but I might need to work with a puppet. When I know the class I am teaching (which are very efficiently labelled in the database of teaching resources) I can prepare props and other ways to keep things interesting. Gawd, a PUPPET. Now I will have to find one that I can give a funny voice to. You have no idea. Use of puppets is the lowest form of education. Sunday Bible School ladies always taught with puppets. I got expelled once for showing them on the puppet where the priest had touched me. (I kid, I kid). He touched me WITH the puppet.
So you might ask why I am stressing. I am stressing because I realized today that when I taught for 20 years I approached each class as a performance. I was the show and they learned and remembered because I was a high energy maniac who disciplined with humor and pushed the kids to do more than they thought they were capable of. I was a schmoozer. I knew how to trick them into doing what I wanted and how to reward their success by teaching them HOW to study and making it easy for them to succeed when they figured out that I was right about their abilities. No patience for slackers or kids who didn't do their homework. Pay me now or pay me later. Homework is due when homework is due. If you died you can be excused from an assignment but that requires a doctor's note. I knew what most of the kids were into and worked out a routine where I appeared to know nothing but I knew enough to impress them. Mostly music stuff and movie stuff and TV stuff. I educated myself on POKEMON partly for the elementary kids and partially because I loved the show too. I know more about Power Rangers and My Little Pony than any adult male should.
The point is I had an ACT. I had a PERSONA that allowed me maximum freedom to just be me at my psychotic best. I adapted to my environment by taking all that I am good at and creating a character as my way to present the material and get through the days with as little additional stress as possible. Each class is only 25 minutes so I can keep up the energy for that long at least. It's why they made chocolate and caffeinated cola drinks.
I remember a comic I read once where Dick Grayson was now Batman because Bruce was lost in time or some such nonsense and he confessed to Alfred that he couldn't do it. He just wasn't Bruce. Alfred reminded him that Dick was from the circus and in the circus he could play any part the role required to keep the people focussed on him. Batman is just that - a PART...a ROLE that someone who has lived in the man's shadow could certainly imitate if he needed to fool people that Bruce was still alive.
I can play a part the way they want me to because I want to be successful. I want to be the one that all the parents want to book. I want my Chinese overlords to be impressed with my work. Now I have to figure out the approach to take while still being myself and finding the balance that I need to do the role justice.
The Force is with me.
I am One with the Force.