When Jarmila first proposed teaching the Early Birds to me, I began to quake in fear. Typically, this class has been held at 7 AM. For those not immediately in the know, the thought of Sarah teaching a class at 7 AM is pretty much preposterous. True, she used to clean the amazing campus of Simpson college at 5:15 AM, but that did not require speaking. And if it did, the speech didn't necessitate friendliness. She was also allowed to go quickly back to bed once her duties were completed, telling herself she was soon to be paid for a bad dream that involved a really incredible sunrise.
Moving back out of the third person, probably wise when speaking about myself, after the initial shock of hearing the proposed class coming from my bosses lips, her following words assured me that I would be able to survive. She'd told the students, one of which is her sister, that the class would be held at 9 AM, rather than 7. Seeing as how 9 is the time my classes always begin, I sighed with relief.
Granted, there are other reasons to have a healthy fear of the Early Birds. Maybe fear isn't quite the word I'm looking for. There is nothing frightening about the people, per say, but more about their level, interest in actually speaking English in class, and attendance, or lack thereof. They've received titles like "forever beginners," and for good reason. After approximately 7 or 8 years "attending" classes at Winfield, they still scarcely scrape beyond an elementary level when it comes to grammar. Not that I'm going to crow about my splendid Czech skills, but it's hard to teach a group who have been here for so long, doing all the activities out of all the books we have, and still not progressing to a higher level.
Of course, figuring out a lesson plan becomes rather irrelevant when they just don't come to class. Last week I had one student. The week before last: one student. This week: no students. While it has given me plenty of time to catch up on correcting FCE essays, pondering what to do in my upcoming class, and catching up on Lexulous, I can't help but think about the two extra hours I could have been sleeping...But such is life. And having the Early Birds as part of my repertoire means I'm at my contracted number of hours.
So, as the minutes tick by, I'm thankful for the little chance to catch up on my blog so I can breathe a little easier this afternoon. It's a Tuesday, which means I only have one more class and then I'm free for the rest of the day. Mark comes at 3 and we're hoping to go to the church and play the piano there. Then, I have plans to cook. Miraculous, I know. I guess I could have used this extra free time to shop for dinner. Ah well. Maybe I'll at least make a list so I don't wander listlessly (if only Kathryn read this she'd be pleased with my pun.) around Albert for ages. Maybe I'll have to change my facebook status just so that Kathryn can enjoy the moment. Anything to create a bonding moment amongst teammates :)