A Travellerspoint blog

Is there an end to September?

... a real life time drama ... why watch tv?

overcast 19 °C

September beginning of school here at Guangya School has certainly became very chaotic and insanely taking a lifetime to end.

Sure, I understand 'back to school' is usually crazy and trying to understand the schedule, however, this start was INSANE!!!

We, meaning the school and staff, had experienced personal disasters. One new Chemistry teacher barely lasted till the end of September, he had returned to States by 3rd week after displaying crude and vulgar behavior in a drunken state. Another higher level teacher, (remember, I'm only assigned to primary level), was paid a month's salary, paid insurance then disappeared (grapevine informed that he returned to States because he couldn't handle the students). Former film studies teacher/principle of IB (International Bachelor) Program had quit when replaced by the Headmaster's 22yo son and young wife.

In regular school, children not paying attention, teens not giving full attention to being disrespectful to foreign teachers, students skipping class whilst other students can't decide what classes they want or know who their next English teacher is assigned (school has assigned 4 different English teachers already, in which the Dance Teacher was one of them), other students are being destructive to school property ... copier machines temperamental, electricity and water shuts off and no one is informed as to when or how long, Internet is connected whenever... list is endless AND this all taken place only in ONE month!!

I did develop powerpoint videos for my classes, however, only one class (4B room) doesn't have their TV / monitor hooked up... still in a box with seal unbroken. Hopefully, I'll find two student tables and put together to have TV placed on top so I can do my presentation which is much easier than using chalkboard (yes, the old green board and horrible chalk, I can imagine what my lungs look like). My goal this weekend is to get 4B TV setup whereas I can start utilizing.

This is not whining, folks, this is actually happening... whining is an event or situation is usually fixable or resolvable.... not here. October is finally making its way here... School holiday for 11 days... WOW, probably, I can think and rest as well as develop my new lessons for October. I certainly seek toward a peaceful and productive October... I'm keeping a positive attitude.

I'm delayed in writing due to this nonsense of events... when I'm finished with my video of school's anniversary, I'll send you link in where to view.

Till... whenever....

Posted by mskaye 04:21 Archived in China Tagged educational Comments (6)

Politely censored

sunny 22 °C

I know you haven’t heard from me in a while, but I’ve been with great attempt of returning into a teaching routine. Of course, in the beginning, the task seemed impossible, but I did seek suggestion from the Chinese/English teachers and taken their advice with earnest. When I really thought I was becoming into the swing of teaching again, I was then observed from the Scheduler who put a pin into my bubble and gloom soured my enthusiasm.

She made suggestions in which I’m not sure if she knew that I have never taught English to young children. Mainly I’ve only conducted classes with teenagers, who WANTED to learn, and adults who WERE eager to advance their English knowledge. In either case, her review was not a positive. She gave suggestions which meant I had to spend my own money to 'create' or find a miracle of printing or making copies of my lessons from the school's copiers which hasn't been maintenanced who knows how many years (do note the inch of more of dust inside) are so temperamental.

I know as all teachers, we all want students who want to learn and pay attention. Yes, I know that is not always possible. Sometimes, a fluke does happen… for an ironic reason, not happening here. Also, I'm doing my best of being creative with Math games and ideas, but somehow doesn't flow with my way of thinking.

After that day, which was Tuesday when I was conducting 2B English class and the students knew of her presence, the lesson was awful. No one participated or paid attention… the students were in their own little worlds and only two to three students would answer.

By that afternoon, 4B Math wasn’t that much better either… I was sinking even further into an abyss. Then by Wednesday, after spending hours on ideas to use math games in 2B and retiring late into the night, my idea didn’t work as I processed. Music was not any better…

Granted the weather was awfully muggy and distracting, but all of 2A had other ideas and again, I only had a few students participating… I gave the Chinese/English teacher the common expression of “I really don’t want to be here” and I already knew my attitude was reflecting on my mood which in turn showed toward my teaching.

Yes, I do and will admit, I’m feeling rather frustrated and this is only the 2nd week of September… the negativity of being told that I’m not teaching correctly or not handling the class is hanging over my head like a thunderstorm. Dujiangyan experienced thunderstorms in the last two mornings, and I had hoped that was my sign of starting fresh. However, to my dismay… certainly not the case.

I’m feeling rather … crappy, my apologizes for my frame of mind.

Posted by mskaye 00:26 Archived in China Tagged educational Comments (7)

Unexpected pleasant surprise

semi-overcast 20 °C

Before the end of last week, all Chinese teachers were introduced to Foreign Teachers who were assigned to appropriate grade levels and subjects in teaching English.

I was pleased to learn that the homeroom teachers of the grades I was assigned, I already knew the teachers for we had befriended each other since my arrival or introduced first time. Her English name is Rachel and we've crossed paths when I returned to Sichuan; exchanged hellos and small talk, but never said that much.

However, that day, we were 'tickled pink' to learn that I was assigned to her 4th grade in teaching the students English; the other for Math, Michelle, was also excited to have me assigned to her homeroom. Believe me, you should have the enthusiasm on my face... and that cloud of gloom had disappeared in which my brainstorming returned like thunder.

During lunch that afternoon, I was asked how I felt about teaching 2nd and 4th graders with an added "Well, it's not exactly what you were trained to do." My response nonchalantly was "No biggie, I am already friends with the homeroom teachers, so this will be quite an amusing, challenging semester." Did I notice an unusual expression of not exactly hearing what should have been my reply?

Have you heard of the Dark Ages?

Saturday morning, Rachel and I exchanged ideas about teaching English to 4th graders. We both laughed as we both learned that we'll both be teaching 4th graders for the first time teaching. She too had taught middle school. I shared her my previous lesson plans I had prepared before leaving as well as some of the lessons I used whilst in Jinan. She too agrees with me that our goal is make the students 'very interested' in learning English by making the lessons entertaining. I shared my ideas of showing animation film clips in which the teams can discuss then share with the rest of the class. Rachel really pleased and I also taken into consideration her suggestions.

For those of you who responded to my dismay, I want to thank you for writing and I just have to share that now I see this particular assignment as my new adventure....

...yes, to my benefit, this last semester will be quite educational for me as well...

Posted by mskaye 00:02 Archived in China Tagged educational Comments (5)

Preparing for Fall Semester

sunny 23 °C

Pardon for my delays, but after 2 1/2 weeks of doing almost nothing since my return (well, actually, I was taking photographs which I will post shortly) I was informed at last minute of my assigned grades for this Fall.

Both to my dismay and shock, in any order you wish to perceive, Grades 2 and 4 were assigned to me teaching English, as well as MATH and MUSIC. Now, I know nothing about teaching math, and that afternoon when I was told that I could TEACH math, rather upsetting me, tis not my specialty. Certainly, whomever informed of my ability of teaching certain subjects should have consulted me first rather than offering what they thought was true. My degree is in Humanities with my main focus is toward mythology, folklore, fairy tales, expression of music and films, usage of American Idioms.

Of course, my mood became cloudy and I wasn't very sociable... but nevertheless, I prepared my lesson plan that evening and sent to the principle. Last night I completed slideshow for my English lessons and, today, after Jazz class I'll complete my music lesson plan... for the weekend, there are plans of preparing my already papers from last semester, lessons during the summer and just getting organized... since my return arrival, wish I was informed LAST WEEK of the assignment which would have made this past week more relaxing.

Not complaining too much, but a challenge is a challenge at any level, especially the unexpected type. No problem, as usually, I'll do my best and show that I am VERY capable! This is one gal who refuses to pass a trivial situation.

Posted by mskaye 16:39 Archived in China Tagged educational Comments (11)

Author's Note:

regarding blog "Teaching types"

overcast

17 August, Monday, 0615hrs PR China Time

Author's Note: If you are interested in reading the full article, visit
http://www.esl-school.com/archives/2009/02/casualties_of_international_english.php
and decide for yourself.

Now that I a fully awake and re-read "Bill T" comments and take note of his grammatical errors... quite amusing indeed.

Posted by mskaye 15:08 Archived in China Tagged educational Comments (0)

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