1st FULL week of Teaching COMPLETE! Harbin, China
Oh Goodness! If you think teaching little 4 year old students is hard…imagine trying to teach little 4 year old students who don’t speak your language! Such a challenge but I love every minute of it. How much can we learn from one another!
This week I taught at Xin Yang Lu Xiao Xue, a pretty good public school in this city. The students are great! In one day, I taught 7 different classes, 40 minutes each with 40-45 students in each class–grades 2, 3 and 4! If you love what you do it, doesn’t feel like work at all because after the end of the school day I felt okay to do some more. That evening I had to go to the private school for another lesson! The 7 classes went by so quickly and it was alot of fun and the children are so attentive and easy to gather there attention. I worked with so many different teachers this week ,its crazy how many different lesson plans I had to make and prepare for! I will only be at this school for a short time until another teacher comes because my full time position is at the private school.
When I walked into the classroom each and every time the students stopped what they were doing, GASPED, and started murmuring. They were so excited to see a foreign teacher. They don’t see many of them in these parts. After we got all warmed up, all I kept hearing was “laoshi” (meaning teacher)! The students had a good time and by the end of the day, I had students saying Hello Teacher Medinah, everywhere I walked and I couldn’t remember each of there names. I always feel like a celebrity everywhere I go because everyone recognizes me but I barely recognize everyone else. Some of the students that didn’t know my name and who were in the older grades would come up to me and say “Teacher, What is your name?” , “Teacher, what is your nationality?” I even had a couple of boys giggle when I walked in and said “Teacher, Teacher , you are soooo beautiful!” I was shocked, because I was there to teach them basic vocabulary like “park” and he was using words like ‘beautiful’ lol. The following day I had about 6 students surrounding me giving me a back and arm massage! =) I could live like this. For lunch at the school, I ate with the teachers in the teachers cafeteria. There was eggs and tomatoes and rice on the menu which was pretty good for school lunch. Better than what’s at our elementary schools lol . I was surprised that the English teachers at the schools don’t speak very well English. Some teachers are of course better than others, but overall it is very limited. There are so many small breaks within the school day for the teachers! The students get a 1.5 hour lunch and recess break and they get a 10 minute break in the early afternoon to rest their eyes: they close their eyes and do eye exercises as a class. The teachers come back into the teachers lounge and sometimes watch parts of 90210 or something. I really do enjoy teaching. I think the breaks definitely help them with the level of productivity that they can attain in one day. I dunno why but that sparkle in the eyes when the students are learning and having fun is priceless! I don’t even need to understand 100% what they are saying. It’s incredible! I have four different 1.5 hour private school classes that is 2X a week. I have 2 classes of 4-5 year olds and 2 classes of 8-9 year olds. After my 2 classes of 5 years on Saturday my back was killing me from bending down to talk to them and dancing and singing all morning! I was exhausted. I give these students my all and by the afternoon I’m incredibly hungry and exhausted! I’ve been working overtime all week! When will my day to sleep in be? The weather this past week was so bipolar! I think that’s why I got a little sicky or something. It was so nice in the beginning of the week! It was about 35-40 degrees and then by Friday the temperature dropped to about 9 degrees and it snowed like crazy on Saturday! =( All the snow almost melted and made my life so much easier and then bleh! More Snow! Can’t wait until next week’s 40 degree weather again!