Chop Suey

Chop suey (Chinese: ; pinyin: suì; literally "assorted pieces")

Much like the popular dish Chop Suey this blog will be a mix of assorted thoughts, stories, pictures and the like from our adventures in China.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Laoshi (Teacher)

We are currently teaching 4 days a week.  Usually Monday- Thursday, although we have had to pick up some hours on the weekends for other teachers that are taking vacation or too sick to teach.  Unfortunately for us we have been battling cold symptoms collectively for the past 10 days.  None the less we are starting to fall into a groove with our classes.

We teach a wide age range of students, from 8-21, which provides plenty of entertainment and challenges.  Lesson planning goes relatively smoothly when all of the teaching materials are present.  Emily has been teaching one class with no teacher's book which makes her an allstar for managing to plan 2 hours of curriculum each day from a students work book.  Overall the students are well behaved (especially compared the students I worked with in the Denver area) although their attention spans are equivalent to that of squirrels.  The older students are much more focused and some have a very impressive handle on English and are working to hone the finer aspects of the language.  One of my college students is learning English as her 3rd language; she is already fluent in Chinese and Japanese.  I am only intensely jealous.

The international staff we work with is really a joy.  We have foreign teachers from Ireland, New Zealand, England, Ghana, and of course a plethora of Chinese teachers.  There is never any shortage of lunch conversations as we all are very interested to learn more about each others countries.  There always seems to be a dinner being planned or at least a  stop at a bar after work.  The Management is friendly and helpful albeit a bit slow to take definitive action.  Even with two weeks of prodding Emily is still bookless for a class, as I mentioned before.  Learning the ins and outs of a new organization is a frustrating but rewarding task, one we are engaged in every day.  We are getting more comfortable in our roles as "educators" with each class, a very encouraging sign for the future.

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