HUAIROU, Beijing Province:
Today was my first day of teaching at the high school. I was so unbelievably nervous!
My first class wasn't until 2.40pm, but we were asked by Miss Cao to meet Lily at the school gate at 8.15am so she could accompany us to the school's opening ceremony. Was a bit nervous about this too, but also excited because we'd get to see the staff and the students and get to know a little bit about the culture of the school.
Me and Sarah got to the school gate at 8am, and waited until gone half past, and Lily never showed up. By this time the ceremony was well under way. We were pretty pissed off to be honest!
Eventually we decided to go up to the staff room on the 5th floor of the teaching building and wait there. We saw Lily when we reached the top floor and she just looked confused. She asked us if we'd gone to the ceremony and we told her no! We'd been waiting for her at the front gate! She looked puzzled and apologised a few times, saying that she hadn't been told. I can't believe how bad her English is considering she's supposed to be an English teacher.
Miss Cao came into the office a bit later and asked us again if we'd gone to the ceremony, and we told her about the mix up with Lily. She looked a bit annoyed and spoke to Lily in Mandarin, and translated to us saying that Lily had waited for us here in the office. Well either Lily is a big fat liar or she is REALLY bad at English, because that's not what she'd said before!
Anyway... I was SO NERVOUS as I walked in to my first lesson.
A class of 50 students all stared at me as I walked through the door, but the lesson went OK... not completely smoothly - I tried to play autograph bingo, but it was very difficult to explain. I'd assumed they had a much higher level of English, but a lot didn't seem to understand even the really simple tasks. I guess I should've realised judging from their own Chinese English teachers - I mean, Lily can barely understand anything we ask, and her pronunciation of things is appalling!
My second lesson started straight away after that. That went a bit better, I felt a bit more confident walking into the room, and I knew a bit more of what to expect. I had an hour break before my last lesson so I had a quick rethink of a different activity to play that was much more simple to explain.
I decided either hangman or Pictionary depending on how much time was left of the lesson, focussing on sports vocab - because of the Olympics this summer. I got to the end of the rest of the lesson plan and I still had fifteen minutes left! So I decided to play Pictionary...
Anyway, obviously I didn't explain it very well because the first round took aaaaages. Eventually the team at the front started looking bored, so I asked them if they knew the sport. So I said stand up then! And tell me! Then I gave them a point on the board, and suddenly everyone was willing to take part! It was brilliant. The kids really got into it by the end, and they were all smiling and getting excited!
I'm so glad that was the last lesson, coz it ended the day on a proper high. I met Sarah in the office after, and she said she'd just had her best lesson last too! It was brilliant; we were both in such good moods.
We went back to the hotel chilled out for a bit then got changed and went out to find a bar. We walked for ages, seen a few KTV clubs, but all we wanted was somewhere just to chill out and have a quiet drink! Eventually we found this place that looked a little scary, but we both walked in, and managed to order 2 beers and sit down without looking too stupid. We were even given free food! It was really nice.
Bring on teaching day two!