Public Speaking Nightmares



It was just a normal day on Cambly. Things were as normal as any other day but then something happened…

I was requested by someone with the username of “X English School”. I was thinking WTF. What a weird username. I was kind of hesitant to pick up the call because it sounded like I was going to be in for a surprise, and not one I would liked to have.

Nonetheless I had to take it, otherwise I would get in trouble with Cambly. So the call comes on, I see a middle aged women standing upright and holding a microphone in her hand. Oh boy I knew exactly what was going to happen at that point. She told me she was English instructor from Brazil and that she was teaching an English class and wanted to let the students practice talking with a native English speaker. She asked if it was ok if I talked to the whole class. My heart started to beat rapidly and I started to perspire. I let out a faint “yes” reply. Then she turns the camera over towards her class. I was greeted by a large group of adult students. My heart sank and I didn’t know what to do. Up until that point, I had never taught an English class in front of a large audience like that before. I mean sure, I had done well over 3-4 dozen presentations in the past at school in front of classmates and guests numbering up to the hundreds and even some improv presentations and skits but I was not prepared for this. I just kind of froze after saying hi and stared at the students lol. I wasn’t sure exactly what to do next. Thankfully the instructor guided the class and asked them to start firing off questions to me.

The topic of choice was about my country of residence. Each student took turns asking me questions about Canada. It felt like I was being interviewed in front of a panel or something. Some of the students even started asking me the same questions over and over again. I’m not sure if that’s because they didn’t know how to ask any other questions or because they didn’t understand my previous answer to the same question. A lot of questions I got asked included:

Where do you live?

What city do you live in Canada?

What is the warmest city in Canada?

What is the coldest city in Canada?

Is Canada safe?

Where is the best scenery in Canada?

What is the best city in Canada?

As you can see, some of the questions were quite subjective. The microphone was passed around like the game of hot potato. At one point, I heard someone scream and then a loud bang lol. I was thinking “What the hell?”. Then the students suddenly stopped asking me questions and started laughing. I told them I heard something weird on their end. They burst out laughing again. They said there was a cockroach. Then the camera panned towards the ground.

Holy Shit!!!

The cockroach was the size of a giant beetle. It must have been like 4-5 inches long. Then suddenly one of the students gets up and starts stomping on the motionless cockroach again…

I guess you just gotta make sure that its dead for good.

Now that the distraction had been eliminated, we returned back to the game of hot potato. Suddenly the video feed paused and I didn’t hear any sound. Then the screen went dark and disconnected our chat.

Well there goes that. I was actually kind of disappointed that the call got caught off. I wanted to see how things would have unfolded if we had chatted until the end of the lesson.That was quite the experience. I got to hand it to them, It was definitely a unique way of teaching an English class to students, having different native English speakers come online and chatting with their students. I’m sure their students would have progressed much quicker compared to someone just chatting with the same instructor.

Have you guys had any similar or weird teaching experiences like this before? Please comment below.



2 thoughts on “Public Speaking Nightmares

  1. How bizarre! I had no idea people did this and to be honest you should get paid more for remotely teaching a whole roomful of people!

    The cockroach is unbelievable! Still, you didn’t let it faze you which is good. Just think, all of this will make for funny anecdotes in the future 🙂


    1. I had no idea people did this too. After teaching on Cambly for over a month now, its the first time I’ve encountered this. I don’t even think the people behind Cambly know there services is being used this way.

      On the bright side, my life is no longer dull and boring!


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