Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Teaching and living at ‘Sanmenxia foreign language middle school’

Of course the cliché feelings of being here for only a few days but having the feeling that it has been weeks are applicable to my situation in Sanmenxia. The last days have been ones of integrating, getting settled, buying the necessary clothes / sport shoes / apartment utilities, and meeting new (Chinese) people. And of course my first days as a teacher here! Monday and today I have spent as my first official working days and as of now I am happy to have started! Classes of sixty kids each, twenty different classes a week.. you do the math, that’s 1200 new faces.. Fortunately order is more of a virtue here than in India where even the smallest classes were in turmoil from time to time and hence I am confident that my ‘oral English classes’ will run as smooth as I intend. Yes.. oral classes. Since it’s a foreign language school there’s loads of Chinese English teachers here but their oral skills are as limited as the flexibility of the bureaucracy here. They do a good job in general though, as I was positively surprised by the English skills of my 2nd grade kids. However, the job as an oral teacher is far more intensive than a regular teacher’s job as during the whole class it’s either me talking or having a student talk. But well.. just another challenge eh :)

I am definitely more positive about my apartment than I was at first glance.. the concrete cold rooms with scarce furniture have been transformed into a new home for me during the last days. I’ve bought a big mirror, some carpet to cover the floor next to my bed with, have had twelve big pictures printed and spread them out over the walls.. The air conditioner is fortunately also capable to share warm air so that my room is warm and cozy compared to the rest of the dorm buildings, be it with the exception of my kitchen and bathroom. And it is in my bedroom, under the heater, that I write this story now.. Soon more and better!

the video below shows you my bedroom.. the other rooms are too cold for me to enter now ;)
video

1 comment:

Feng Zheng said...

Tony,

I was reading your posting about Sanmenxia Foreign Language Middle School. I am planning to move to Sanmenxia soon, as I am marrying a girl from there. Do you know if your school is currently looking for foreign teachers? Or maybe another school in that city that needs foreigners? My e-mail is number1english@gmail.com ..... Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.