This was my second day at the school. I was able to watch the 9th grade students during their morning exercises. They are preparing for a big sports event next week and for the all important exams determining their ability to enter high school.
I met with the administrative team during their weekly meeting. The other administrative team members were there, but a Party Secretary from the district level attends these meetings as well (it was an interesting twist). The rest of the meeting reminded me of the calendar meetings we have at HRVHS.
I was able to watch and participate in the English teacher's model lessons. Every term each teacher creates a model lesson and invites all of the other teachers in their department and the administrators in to watch and then critique as a follow up. I was asked to teach during the 7th grade lesson I watched, it was a lot of fun!
Both of the model lessons used technology, had many different activities taking place and encouraged student interaction with their peers. They were both well done, but was not representative of what I was seeing in the other classes.
Just before lunch I had an opportunity to meet with the Senior 3 students. We spent an hour talking about the differences and similarities between American and Chinese students, education, and social lives. I was then invited to lunch by some of the students, but had to go to a lunch with the PE teachers in honor of the work they are doing for the Sports meeting.
Julia (my interpreter and tour guide) and I spent the afternoon walking all over the old city. We went from the bell and drum towers to the malls to the Muslim Quarter where she helped me bargain for some gifts:) and helped me select different types of street food to try. It was a lot of fun.
I ended the day at dinner at the Liang Family home. Liang bing is an English teacher at the school. Her husband is the asst headmaster at another school (of 6000 students!!) where her daughter, nicknamed PanPan attends school as well. The Liang family made me feel right at home. They taught me how to make dumplings, entertained me with stories of their travels, and fed me delicious food. We chatted late into the evening, when PanPan played me the pipa. The music was beautiful, Pan Pan is very talented and absolutely delightful. By the time I left, I become Pan Pan's honorary aunt, truly an honor for me.