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First Week Complete!

I have been so busy this last week that I haven’t had the time nor energy to write about my experiences. Training for my job started on Thursday and I taught my first classes on Saturday- three in one day (all ages 4-6)! They seemed to go pretty well considering it was my first time teaching- my main feedback was to be louder and have more energy in the classroom, which is something that will come to me in time as I grow in confidence with teaching. The kids are all very sweet and funny, and seem to love any game that gets them all involved and running around! I have also been observing other teachers classes- including older learners (aged around 8-14). These classes seem to be a lot more challenging to teach and to keep all of the kids engaged. I will be taking over one of the older classes of a teacher who is leaving next week, so I am a little apprehensive about that. As I am naturally quiet and soft spoken, it will mean that I have to think of other ways of managing behaviour that doesn’t include just shouting over the kids. (Wish me luck!)

So far the training has been very rushed and overwhelming. The amount of information I have taken in (and I’ve only been here a week!) is ridiculous. I’m still waiting for it all to sink in, because at the moment I feel like I am in a bubble just watching a strange foreign city move around me without really understanding it. I am looking forward to the next couple of days I have off work, to hopefully get my bearings a bit better.

So far I have discovered a nice quiet spot by the river which is just across the road from my apartment. It’s good to know there are still peaceful places in a busy, noisy city. One of the noises I am still getting used to is the seemingly constant bangs of firecrackers in the day time. Apparently they are used to celebrate a wedding, funeral and many other events in China. Small things like that may not seem like a big deal, but everything adds up to make the whole experience here more strange and unlike what I am used to back in England.

I am starting to really miss going on walks in the countryside. Although I have found a few peaceful green spaces, they are all limited and not really untamed. Hopefully once I get my bearings a bit more I can work out the bus system or hire a bike and explore the areas surrounding the city.

I’m still waiting for things in my apartment to be fixed which is frustrating, but apparently to be expected in China. I need to be more pushy if I want things done quickly (or at all).

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