09.07.2011 30 °C
Well, one week of teaching is done. I think time must pass by quicker here. It doesn't feel like I've been gone for 10 days.
I have to start off by saying this job is cushy. Seriously cushy. The teaching here is so much fun, and only 4x40 min a day. In school in China, there is not a lot of learning through play. In Canada, especially when I am teaching a second, third, fourth language, I teach mostly throug play and projects. Here, I have only taught through play and projects and they have loved it! It makes for a very fun class, since it is so different to be playing and laughing (and I love laughing in class. I don't know that there is a day of teaching on my life that has gone by where I didn't laugh with a class). I'm really lucky that I had such great connections with my classes. After being immersed in elementary schoool for so long, I had forgotten how fun it can be to teach the older ones, and what connections you can make. I had some fantastic conversations with my classes (I figure it's a good conversation when a class of 50 teens are completely silent) and did some pretty fascinating projects. Some are definitely coming home with me. Yesterday, Friday, was my last day with these students and it was hard to say bye. Some wrote letters and one gave me a gift. We all applauded and cheered at the end and none of us wanted to leave i had to shoo some out! I've been thinking a lot about how self indulgent it is to be a foreign teacher. They love you! You're a celebrity. Some were even asking for my autograph. It actually makes me slightly uncomfortable. I told them multiple times that teachers are not this popular in Canada! It will be interesting to see what my class is like next week. I have a lower division (their divisions are ranked here) and so their English won't be as good and I expect behavior won't be quite as good either.
Today, Saturday, we had off, so they took us to see some stunning caves in a mountain about an hour away. You had to take a creepy tram up and then a single-rider-operate-your-own-brakes roller coaster down. I think you'll need to see the pictures to believe it! Tomorrow we are off to Hangzhou - the big city nearby and then back to teaching on Monday!
Love from China,