Week 17- The final teaching week

My lessons this week have been so different compared to the rest of my teaching experience. I just taught one class of 6 pupils in an international class, where all I was told was to practice everyday English in everyday situations with them as they will hopefully be going to Universities in England, Australia, America, and Canada. However they were really difficult to motivate. I had three classes on Monday with them, and I’d planned to do a restaurant scenario with them but it didn’t really go to plan. I found the best way to communicate with them was just to have casual conversations with them and not make it too intense. They were watching a film when I went in for my last class on Monday so I just let them carry on watching it, pausing it at times to ask them questions about it. Apparantly this is what the other foreign teachers were doing so I continued doing this with Mean Girls, and I had my last 2 classes with them today. It makes me miss teaching at the other schools and made me realise how much I’ve enjoyed teaching. I think my aim through it all has just been to get them to think for themselves and not just accept what’s given to them, which can be tricky in a country like China. 
Last Friday, the school took us all out for a meal at a restaurant that had flower decorations and salt figurines of philosophers on the dishes which was cute. We then had to say which male teacher we found the most handsome which was awkward as they wouldn’t accept our answer of them all being equally handsome! After this, us 4 foreign teachers went to KTV to meet the other foreign teachers from the main campus. They were with a few of their 13/14 year old pupils, yet everyone was drinking- it’s weird, there doesn’t seem to be an age restriction here or anything. We have crazy security at our school so once we got back, we got through the main entrance okay, but they’d locked the doors into our apartment block and no-one was awake to let us in. So we had to climb through our kitchen windows- luckily we live on the ground floor but it went to show how easily someone could break into our rooms, as all we had to do was slide open our windows, step up onto the small platform, and climb through! We were up early the next morning as we all went to a Rugby 7’s tournament which was on all day. I’m not sure who won- either Beijing, Shanghai, or Chengdu, I heard different things from different people! Later that night we went to Shamrocks where all the teams were, and they had some crazy games going on like naked lapdances etc. It was also some of the interns final weekend in Chengdu so it was sad to start saying goodbye to people 😦
I finally sent my suitcase home on Tuesday which had a few items I couldn’t take with me travelling but wanted to have back home. I’ve also packed my rucksack and cleaned my apartment, and tomorrow I’m moving out of the place. I booked some train tickets at the station on Wednesday and this was so stressful as obviously I only know limited Chinese and the staff limited English! I booked 3 tickets and afterwards when I checked them I realised there was something wrong with each ticket, so I had to re-join the queue and explain what needed changing. Needless to say the people waiting behind me weren’t best pleased! After this I was sat outside and a man on a scooter kept asking me questions which I couldn’t understand. Anyway I can’t remember how it came about but I was suddenly showing him my train tickets I’d just bought and then I noticed I’d attracted a large crowd who were all stood around looking at them too, they seemed fascinated that a foreigner had bought a few train tickets! Eventually I managed to escape for the bus and once I was back in Xindu, I treated myself to a manicure after such a stressful day 😛 As soon as I walked into the shop and before I could say anything, they ushered me over to the manicure table, maybe a sign I’ve been there one too many times…
On Saturday I will go to Xian, and from there to Chongqing, then back to Chengdu for a couple of days to say more goodbyes. Then on the 2nd I’ll be getting the train to Guilin to start my next batch of adventures. So overall I only have 4 days left in Chengdu! It’ll be sad to leave the city that I’ve called home for the past 4 months, the people I’ve met and places I’ve been, but I’ll be leaving with only good memories from this experience which is the most important thing 🙂


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