This week I became a teacher.
It’s been quite an interesting couple of weeks here in China, with both good and bad experiences. I had my first visit to a Chinese hospital and my first trip out to the lake in the same week, but the big takeaway here is that this past Saturday I started taking over classes, which means that my teaching career has officially begun.
For those that don’t know, I’m teaching English in Jilin, China, at a training center called Kenneth’s English School. The “training center” part means that our students come to us after school hours to learn even more, hopefully putting them at an advantage within China’s competitive scholastic landscape. Kids here are under a lot of pressure; the norm is to be working constantly. Even after a full day of school, it seems most are on their way to other classes, whether it be learning an instrument or another language. Even when I see children rollerblading, they aren’t just doing it for fun. They’re in Rollerblading Class, and that instructor is telling them to SLALOM THOSE CONES!
So far my classes are going really well. The kids are energetic and eager, and that enthusiasm fuels me and makes class much more enjoyable. The programs at Kenneth’s are high-energy and hands-on, and give me a lot of room to incorporate my own ideas. It’s more like camp than class in some ways, with lots of games and plenty of children yelling. Happy yelling. Happily yelling vocabulary.
I've picked up 3 classes so far, with more on the way. The kids are grouped according to their level of proficiency; my kids are at Level 1 and are around 6-9 years old. Also, they are at Stage 38 cuteness, which is quite high for their age bracket; I can’t even look at some of them without my heart quietly breaking inside. This school offers training up to IELTS classes, which prepares students to take an internationally-recognized English test, so I’ll have opportunities to teach English at all levels.
|Photo by Greg W.|
I’m looking forward to these challenges. Whether it’s becoming an efficient lesson planner, getting more comfortable in front of a classroom, or making sure the kids are learning a lot in an enjoyable environment, I have a lot to learn but I’m excited about the prospect of becoming an awesome teacher.