Wednesday, January 30, 2013

First Day of New Classes

This is my 100th post. Wow. I can't believe that I've written so many, or that I've been here long enough to have that much to say! It is so close to halfway. It's bittersweet. In the next month, I'm going to be losing Erin (she will go to Germany to be with her family), but we will get a whole new group of teachers. I know that I'll find someone in there that I can bond with, but I'll definitely miss Erin. And while it's so exciting knowing that I've made it halfway through, and only a little more than 6 months to go, it's also a bit sad to think about leaving. As much as I miss home and basically everything, I think I've done well in making this my life now. But, there is a time for everything under the sun...

Well, as the title suggests, today was the first day of the new class schedule. Today I only had 2 new classes, and one class that I'd previously had but is now combined with another class. So here's an outline of my day:

2:50 - 3:30pm - 2SAP
This class is 6 boys aged 7 (I think). They are such typical little boys. They smell like dirty kid mixed with baby smell. The way the class smelled made me think of when I used to babysit. Not much of a fan. But, despite the unpleasant smell, I kind of liked the kids themselves. While they're a bit rowdy (what do you expect putting 6 boys in a room together), they're endearing. Well, so far. I've gotten word from their old teacher that one of them cries almost every day (which is brought on by not answering enough questions or answering incorrectly), and two others fight constantly. I have a "new" kid (he was previously not in the same class as the other 5, but he was at the school). I will be seeing these boys every day, but I am kind of glad I get them over with at the beginning of the day.

3:30 - 4:10pm - Break
Well, it's a break for now. I might have a phonics-level class starting in March called AppleJuice. I will teach them songs. How precious.

4:20 - 5:00pm - NHK3-2
These are my same kids I used to have at the beginning of the day. Julie, Anne, Amy, Celina, Leo, Brian, Tommy, and Jamal.

5:00 - 5:40pm - RO2-3
I had already been teaching this class, but I only had 4 students. They've combined it with another class, so we now have 11 students. I got to learn many new names. But, it was on the whole a good class as well. There is this one student, a big kid and pretty awkward (loud when it's not necessary...). Well, after they left class today, Jackie Teacher walks up to me laughing and says "You know Eddy?" (the awkward kid), I'm like yeah! She says, "He just passed me in the hall and gave me the thumbs up and said 'That new teacher... perfect teacher.'" The facial expressions she used, mimicking him, were hilarious. Like skeptical but reluctantly approving. Does that make sense? Anyway, it was so funny and weirdly made me super happy.

5:50 - 6:50pm - Middle/High School Students
Real original name, huh? Well, these kids basically just do listening exercises with me. I've never taught it before, and in fact the class has only existed for about a month prior to this. So, I basically had no idea what I was doing. Which means I pretty much fudged the class. The kids in there are SO quiet!!!!! It was like talking to a wall. Only Sophie, who I had in a Step High class previously, even gave me a small smile. Eventually, we finished with 10 minutes left, so I started attempting to make them talk. I asked their hobbies, and finally pried a response out of some of them. For some reason I decided to ask if anyone liked to draw (it seems so many of my students are really good little artists... maybe it's an Asia thing, they like to draw anime? That's so stereotypical, I know...). They all said no, and I told them I was surprised because so many students do like to draw. And I told them a story:
"Today in one of my classes, with the little kids, I asked them to draw some things they see in a city. So, first they said cars." I draw a car on the board, which consisted of an oval with 4 circles as wheels. "Then, they said buildings!" I draw a building which more resembled the leaning tower of Pisa than any building I've ever seen. "Finally, one of them said an airplane. Not sure that counts, but we went with it." I draw an airplane, which was also made up of an oval, but this time with 2 triangles as wings, and a bunch of circles in a row as windows. All the kids started to laugh a little. I stepped aside and with Vanna White skills present my drawings, "This... is my art."
That finally got a real laugh out of them, accompanied by some slight smiles. And then, they vanished as quickly as they appeared. And I know I've got my work cut out for me...

7:00 - 8:00 - Leap High 1
Formerly known as Step High, with the nickname: class from hell. Yep, my 4 prepubescent boys: Henry, Eric, John, and Kevin. I had previously felt a little like I was making some progress, if only slightly, the past week or two. Well, whatever progress I'd made went out the window today. It was hell. Totally new class material for them, with completely new books and new way to do things in class; they were a mess. At the end of class, I had to take Henry out in the hall and have a "chat" with him. I don't know how I'm going to survive another 6 months of this. Honestly... it may kill me.

Finally my day was over. Not too much craziness, and I'm trying to just take it as it comes. I totally forgot to prepare one thing for my NHK class, but I just improvised. I think I'm getting pretty good at this teaching thing. I'm most nervous about the listening class because they're so impossible to get to speak. Not that they really need to speak for the class, but it's so BORING if it's dead silent except when I'm playing the tracks or talking. I also still have about 50 report cards to write, so in addition to getting everything ready for all my new classes, I've got that to work on. I have just about decided it's time for a legit massage - and I'm talking oils and private room and (wait, is this sounding inappropriate?!). Well, I just mean more of the whole massage experience with the relaxing music, nice candles, dim lighting, etc. It's about the same price as in America though, so I've been reluctant. Especially because I can get them so much cheaper if I sacrifice the mood and lotions/oils. We'll see.

Anyway, I can't wait for the weekend and my holiday in Beijing in just a week and a half!!!


  1. Really? Jamal? Wow. Sounds like a great explanation of what you do!

  2. More 'adventures of old christine' - uh, I mean New Adventures of Chelsea! Exciting! Surely you will take lots of pics for us so we may enjoy China thru' your lens. Happy for you Teacher! Know you'll have great fun and I'm thinking many of us 'followers' will enjoy every single moment, albeit vicariously. The Greatest Blog!!


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