Daily Phuket #92: 7 December 2021 – Slowly Working Hard

I haven’t posted here in a few days. Instead, I spent much of the week working on updates for my main stamp site. Please have a look if you are interested. I spent much of today preparing for a one-day “English camp” to be held on Monday, the first such in-person activity we have done in more than one year. Let’s hope that it won’t be the last.

I also didn’t take very many photos over the past few days (none at all today or yesterday) so the next three entries will be brief in order to bring things up-to-date.

We start off with one of my very few in-house lessons, meaning classes held at the offices of my agency. I am very thankful for each of the students who brave the wilds of Phuket to come and learn with me. They remain my sole source of income due to difficulties returning to the big schools. I have a group of three girls every Sunday morning, a private lesson (one girl) on Monday afternoons, a group of three girls who come for an hour each Tuesday and Wednesday, and a boy and girl who learn for an hour on Thursday afternoons. All are between seven and 10 years old. And all are generally well-behaved.

My twice-weekly group of three girls can be a handful as they arrive with loads of energy. I don’t blame them as they are thrilled to see their friends for a brief time each afternoon; it certainly beats learning online. I usually play a game at the start of our hour together to try and burn off some excess energy. However, when it is time to work, they work well albeit at different speeds.

On this particular day, we read a passage about iguanas and they had to use the text to complete a chart describing the lizards. The categories were Characteristics, Habits, Personal Appearance, and Abilities. The last activity was to draw a picture of an iguana and label its body parts. The next day, they chose a Thai animal to describe using the chart as a reference.

They all sat quietly during the majority of the lesson, reading the text and responding to questions when asked. A slightly different work ethic emerged when we got to the artistic portion of the class. I drew an “approximation” of an iguana on the white board as a model for the students and two of the girls copied it almost exactly as my attempt, admittedly, was rather comical). The third — pictured here — opted for a more realistic approach, borrowing my phone to find a decent image and then using that to draw and color from.

She worked very hard at it, adding a mate for her first iguana (“so it doesn’t get lonely”) and did not seem bothered that the other girls had jumped up to draw on the white board. I actually felt a little bad about it. But her artwork was by far the best and reiterated Aesop’s parable that slow and steady wins the race. So many students just treat all of their coursework like it was a race that I am pleased when one takes pride in their work, no matter how long it takes.

As far as I am concerned, they are all winners simply for showing up to class and behaving like little angels… most of the time!

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