Today was a long teaching day. I had 3 classes – a total of 7 hours pure teaching.
The first class was with a little girl (maybe 7 years old). She is a sweetheart to work with – calm, listens and is always smiling. She loves drawing, her attention spam is not short – wonderful student! But her classes are simply boring. Lesson plans for her classes are prepared by my Chinese assistant and they always involve tons and tons of repetitions. What I mean is that the biggest amount of her class time, we just say over and over the same words, so that the girl would remember 8 new words each class. I know that ‘practice makes perfect’ but that just seems so dull to me. If I was not so lazy and did not need to plan my other classes by myself – I would add more interactive activities in her lesson plans. Why her classes are so dull, I don’t know, but I have a theory. This is just my thoughts and I don’t know whether they are true or not, so don’t quote me on that. Based on my internet research, I learned that Chinese education system uses a lot of repetition. Maybe that’s why my Chinese colleague incorporates so much into her classes.
My other two classes were in Jining (I quite like that city), in another language school. Those classes were very intense and one straight after the other, so at the end of my second class – I felt quite exhausted. But, despite all of the tiredness, I truly enjoyed them. Intense but fun! I had a total freedom to do whatever I wanted as long as I taught the new words+sentences.
On another note: Today I finally was able to take a bus by myself. (People take care so much of me…that sometimes I feel like this is too much.) But that bus ride did not go without its little quirks. The bus was going from one town to the other, and was supposed to leave me at the suburbs of Jining. At the last bus stop I had to meet my boss, who was taking me to the school by car. It was the first time, I took the bus, so I had no clue, where I really needed to get off. So, when the bus arrived at the last stop and the driver asked me to stay – I thought -OK, maybe Mrs. Ma said something to him. I could not really ask him much why he was asking this because we did not speak the same language. Well, he waited until other people got on and then he showed me another bus, on which I had to get on. Since I did not see my boss around – I thought OK – I’ll just take this second bus. My boss did not mention about me changing buses along the way, so I called him, and yes, I was not supposed to get on that second bus. The bus driver of the first bus was so kind to show me the bus that went to the city center, but I did not really need that. In the end, everything went well. But it is just all those small quirks that makes me realize that I am in a foreign land.