Never A Dull Moment

I have more pictures to post, both from this weekend and school pictures, but just haven’t had time. I had to wing some lessons in my deskless classroom, and then on break we had a surprise meeting about our roles as the foreign teachers! (I suppose I should be grateful that is was a surprise meeting and not a surprise observation, since my unplanned lessons resembled second-rate daycare more than ESL.)

The meeting was pretty basic, to be honest the disappearing desks are my only problem with the school. The kids are great. My TAs are both nice, and so what if they occasionally misrepresent their English as better than it is? Sometimes, when people speak Chinese to me, I understand some of the words and then guess what they’re saying, so it really shouldn’t bother me when my TAs do it.

The school supplies are fine too. If I ask for paper, most of the time I can get it. I even get blank A1-size paper sometimes. Once I got it BEFORE the start of class AND it was enough for all 25 students! I can also get markers and magnets for the board and colored paper and a ball.

It’s a good school in general, it’s just the “Surprise! Invent 40 minutes of games for 5-year-olds! Go!” that bothers me. I don’t want to be the foreign dancing monkey, I’m a real teacher. I actually do have ideas about effective education, and Pop-Up and Alien Abduction on the fly are not part of it.

The highlight of the meeting was when we were told that we should submit the week’s lesson plans to the TAs before Monday. If we want to print out the lessons, we need to submit them to the printing office a few days in advance of that day, so about a week in advance of actually teaching the material.

I suggested that it might be easier to plan lessons if we were told in advance when the desks would be removed in the middle of the night.

China is never boring.

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