I’m writing this post from an internet cafe. I know this makes me sound really sophisticated, but it’s actually a cafe dedicated to World of Warcraft so I’m currently surrounded by gamers who are shrieking their war-cries across the desks to one another.
So much has happened that I could write about since my last post, but I’ve decided to focus on my first week of teaching! Another intern and I are teaching to a different school first for two weeks before we return to our main school. This school is out in the countryside and the school hasn’t had a foreign teacher before, so the pupils were amazed to see us as for many of them they had never seen a foreigner before. It was strange when were meeting the other teachers in the office and the kids swarmed outside trying to catch a peek of us, and one week in it’s just as crazy as they like to yell our names across the school as soon as they see us. Usually, teachers plan/prepare lessons in their office, but not for us. Any break between lessons consists of signing autographs, being constantly asked what our QQ number is, answering a list of questions they’ve written out for us, and we have even each been given a coffee flask from one of the pupils!
Perhaps we have an advantage being foreign as the lessons have gone really well due to the pupils enthuiasm. At the beginning of the week there was a slight language barrier but you just have to really embrace hand gestures and selecting volunteers to demonstrate what they need to do. Once they understand, all their hands fly into the air as they want to draw on the board/slap the board/speak aloud to the rest of the class. I think another motivating factor for them is that I bring along a very colourful set of stickers which I give to those who have taken part in an activity!
It’s the end of our first teaching week, and tonight my plans are to be as lazy as possible. Tomorrow, our living assistant Jane has the day off and wants to take us three new interns into Chengdu to do some exploring. I’m looking forward to this as it’ll be change to be with someone who actually knows where they’re going! China is very laid-back and also last-minute (for example, the teachers like to tell us 10 minutes before a lesson that the class has moved on to a different unit now so what you’ve planned is old news….), but this still suits me as I am incredibly indecisive and relatively laid-back too! That’s the beauty of it though, being able to do what you want in a country that is itching for you to explore it. I’m excited!:)