I promise!! I know I’ve been updating about my adventures in Thailand lately but they took place all the way back in February and I’m just really behind on them. So before everyone thinks that all I do is travel I thought I’d do a post about what I actually spend most of my time in China doing – teaching.
I’m contracted to teach 20 hours a week but have lucked out and do 16 lessons of 40 minutes each, plus a couple of extra things to get my hours up. I realise that it sounds like I barely do any work, but because I have international classes twice a week I end up doing 5 lesson plans a week compared to everyone else’s 1. Lesson planning can take anywhere from 1 hour to 4 hours depending on whether I’m using a textbook, I have an idea what to teach or if I have no clue what I want to do. Quite a lot of my free time I spend looking at esl websites and getting ideas of what activities and lessons I could do.
My bad Junior 3 Class. The boy on the right randomly had a mouse under his desk all lesson and instead of learning English decided to keep giving it water in a bottle lid.
My timetable itself is all over the place. It’s my second time table this year, my old one was amazing and gave me Friday’s and most of Monday off. This new one is different. I teach 3 lessons on Monday between 2.10 and 6.50 and have the weekly staff meeting Monday afternoons too. Every other week me and Thandie help out at a primary schools after school club to get our hours up. I also have Chinese class Monday mornings but my attendance isn’t great!! Tuesday’s are amazing and are when I plan anything that hasn’t been done for that week since I only teach one class at 6.10. Wednesday’s I have 3 classes between 3 and 6.50 and then because I have an early start the next day I usually come home and start winding down so I can sleep.
Thursday’s are by far my busiest day, so if I don’t reply to any facebooks or Skypes on a Thursday don’t be surprised!! I have a class at 8.45, then Chinese class, then another class finishing at 11.05 and then a break and long lunch. In the afternoon I have my 2 junior 3 classes from 2.10 and once there done it’s time to tutor some of the senior 2 students until 5.25. Still not finished, I then teach from 6.10 to 6.50. Now I’m in the rhythm of things it’s not so bad but to start with it was hell. Friday’s are fine, 2 morning classes and 2 afternoon classes that are regularly cancelled when the students have a weekend off school.
One of my Junior 3 classes
I can’t complain too much about my Thursday’s since I did offer to tutor the students. I really enjoy just sitting down and chatting to them, a lot of the time they want to practice talking in English so the best thing they can think of is to talk to me. My senior 2 international class is one I look forward to seeing. Since I’ve been at the school for a while now they know me and I’ve started to have really interesting debates with them. I’m always coming back from class with interesting or funny things to tell my friends.
Senior 1 Class 5
Like all teachers, I have my bad classes who I don’t like teaching, but every day there’s at least 1 class who are a pleasure to teach and as a result I typically look forward to starting my day and seeing my classes. I love when students use some grammar or a word that I’ve taught them, I love when students see me around school and say hello, there’s even a part of me that enjoys disciplining the bad classes and forcing them to learn. I’ve done everything from laughing to crying in class and when a student wrote a literal meaning of Black Widow on the board I was crying with laughter!! I’m enjoying teaching a lot, and hopefully I’ll keep enjoying it next year.
“The woman who don’t have husband and black”
A not at all staged photo of me and the Senior 1 international class last week. Lily (my Chinese teacher and the press photographer of the school) saw me in the office, decided I looked beautiful and interrupted the class (being taught by a lovely teacher who the students hate and call Black Bear) and rearranged all the students so we could have a photoshoot. The desks are never that tidy and I don’t even use a textbook in my lesson! Serves me right for picking up my exam papers and wearing a dress on a 30 degree day.