A Week of Sorts: QQ, Last classes, and Women’s Day

Today I had my last day at the school 😦 Every 2 weeks, we change schools, so from next Monday I’ll be teaching at a nearby primary school. I would say the key word to sum up my TEFL experience so far is adaptability; that is, being able to perform in a number of different situations, usually at short notice. If this was something I’d known before signing onto the course then this probably would’ve swayed my decision. But I think that’s the beauty of not knowing, because now I’m doing it and it’s all okay, so I’ve learnt something new about myself there!

Yesterday, I had my last lesson with Class 4. They were my favourite class, but shhhh don’t tell the others. Instead of creating a lesson plan, I was instead asked to play games outside with them! We played a 45-strong game of Duck Duck Goose, and then Badmington. At the end, we all stood together for a class photo, and then they stood in a formation and said ‘thank you teacher’ in chorus to me ^_^ I also had my last lesson with Class 2 as well; they were known as ‘the noisy class’ but they weren’t anywhere near as annoying as the brats that were in my year at school! At the end of the lesson, they presented me with a very nice calligraphy brush that they’d all bought me. It was so sweet!

This morning when we arrived at the school office, we were bombarded by pupils who gave us many cards, thank-you notes, origami, and a number of notebooks too. They all had messages written in them like, ‘thank you for your help’, ‘may happiness always follow you’, and a personal favourite, ‘even though you live for 2 weeks, I think I am very luck’. Again, many photos were taken, and then I went to teach my final two classes. We just played games and hardly looked at the text book, and that certainly went down well with them.

We have been constantly asked for our QQ number- I think this is a combination of a Facebook/MSN type of networking site. It’s strange because we’re allowed to chat to them on there, as well as swap phones numbers and be invited over for dinner! I haven’t done the last two because I find that a bit strange, as I’m just so accustomed to the very strict rules back in Britain. In Britain, if you’re training to be a teacher, you have to change your Facebook name so the pupils can’t even search for you! You also can’t swap phone numbers, take photos together, or go over the pupils houses for dinner! So it’s almost the opposite here because it’s so laid-back, but I think this creates a closer bond between teacher and pupil.

Today is also Women’s Day. Happy Women’s Day! Here in China, or at least a few schools in this area, the female teachers (I’m not sure about other jobs) have half days at work! I finished at 12 on Fridays anyway so it didn’t really apply to me, but then all the female staff members were treated to a hotpot lunch at a nearby restaurant. We took up three large tables and invited a few of the male teachers we get on with too. I love hotpots out here; it’s basically a big hotpot in the centre of the table, and you place different meats and vegetables into its spicy sauce to cook. I’ve had this a few times before, but today they added pigs brain, cows stomach, liver, and other parts that got lost in translation. I tried the stomach and brains. The stomach was chewy, and I ate the smallest part of the brain but it was just really soft, a bit like tofu, but I’m sure vegetarians won’t be pleased to hear that πŸ˜›

This weekend, I’m meeting up with a few intern friends in Chengdu city centre. We haven’t seen each other since the train journey from Beijing to Chengdu so it’ll be good to catch up! Then on Sunday Cait and I are having a ‘lesson planning study session’ as we have to share the text books, despite us going to 2 different schools. I’m looking forward to this weekend, and also celebrating my birthday next weekend by going to see the pandas!! πŸ™‚

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