Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,
Teacher: I thought I told you to stand at the back of the line! Pupil: I tried but someone was already there. Mother: What did you learn in school today? Student: Not enough, I have to go back tomorrow.
How is my teaching life here in Dexing? I was waiting for you to ask that. How does AWESOME sound!
Unlike all other schools I’ve taught in prior, here my largest class size is a whopping thirty students and others have around twenty. Prior I taught anywhere from sixty (average) to one hundred (Tianyang Town). When I agreed to come here it was to teach Primary School only as for the past several years there has been two foreign teachers, one taught Primary and the other Middle School but when the school found out it was me, they cancelled the second teacher.
I now teach all levels from pre-school through to Grade 8, Middle School.
I am absolutely loving it except for Grade 8 that is as the males are rude, disrespectful and dirty little creatures and not only that, they are so damn boring! Along with freaking me out, pre-school threw me for six at first as they range from three to five and all are sons and daughters of teachers at the school, so it’s more of a 'gift’ from the school to some of the teachers and their children.
But as it is only one forty five minute class a week, it’s not so bad. Their personalities range from:
Sleepy Smurf: ‘Yo big eyed foreign dude at the front of the classroom, I know you’re funny and all but we just had lunch so you carry on doing what you do and I’m just going to sl…sl..sleep! BANG, head hits the desk!
Funny Smurf: Wow, my Foreign Monkey is just so funny that I am going to praise, honor and show him how much I adore him by laughing at every single damn thing he says and does all class and continue to do so every class for the rest of the term because I know that this will make me his best student.
Whacky Smurf: Aliens, Aliens, how cool are Aliens! That ‘thing’ at the front of my class is so strange that he can’t be from here. He sings dances and does all sorts of crazy stuff to communicate with us. Oh, I know what I will do, I will do the same and every time I have any kind of thought, no matter how small it is I am going to jump out of my seat and race around screaming to help strengthen our communication as this will surely help with the future of both our races.
Crying No Smurf: Come to the front and sing and dance its fun…NO. Come to the board and draw a flower and the letter F…NO. We are going to play race to the board and punch whatever you think is the lion, do you want to play?…NO. Class continues and we play, sing and punch, then…WAH WAH WAH…Whats wrong sweetie. Everyone else is having so much fun but the Foreign Monkey never chooses me to play.
I’m Here & Part of It Smurf: Oh My God, I love my Foreign Monkey’s class so much that I feel a need to show him how much I love being here. So I will participate in absolutely EVERYTHING and I know that when he tells me other students need to have a turn that he is only trying his best to make them feel included because I am the best student. Yes, yes, this I will do for him every lesson!
I Am an Excellent Smurf: Do you want a turn…Yes! Do you want to play…Yes! Do you want to draw a flower and the letter F…Yes! Do you want to punch the lion…Yes! Is it ok if she has a turn now…Yes! My Monkey can teach me so much that I will continue to show him how much I love to learn every lesson and be a wonderful Smurf.
Classroom Assistants & My Timetable
My classroom assistants are not only totally awesome but they are all so damn beautiful and more than eager to take part in everything we do in class. I do eighteen normal lessons each week and also have the fun of doing two English Corners which are on Wednesday and Thursday evenings. I can hear many ‘oh my god evening class’ comments but they are twenty three of my favourite students from Grade 2 to Grade 5.
What more could a teacher ask for? Now For The JACKPOT!
My classes are scheduled from Monday through to Thursday which means only one thing and yes, you are correct. I HAVE A THREE DAY WEEKEND EVERY WEEKEND!
<u>The Downside To The Above & a BIG Wake Up For Students Back Home!</u>
As all students come from villages near and far from Dexing Town ALL students and most teachers live here at the school and sadly they have an eleven day timetable which means that every second Friday the school closes and everyone goes home for three days, they leave Friday morning and return Sunday evening. For eleven days straight all students and teachers must rise at 6:20am, participate in a morning run and exercises (yes even Grades 1 & 2), begin classes after breakfast through to 11:30, eat and sleep until 14:00, have classes until 17:00, eat and rest until 18:30 and then return to class until 20:30, then shower and sleep until 6:20am the following morning (all levels except Grade 1 & 2 who sleep after dinner).
High School students continue through until 21:30.
<u>Where Is The School, My Apartment & The Food</u>
My school is located a forty five minute walk from Dexing Town and there really is nothing out here except several small stores and eateries. All students and staff eat both lunch and dinner at the school canteen but the food is the same day in and day out so I eat lunch at school and always walk or ride into the town for dinner which is fine for now but during winter, evenings are going to suck. In town there is a nice selection to choose from. I usually eat on Small Eat Street which is a short street that runs from the main shopping street down to the river that offers a diverse range of eateries.
As usual I mostly choose to slurp my noodles at the Muslim Xinjiang Eatery that has an entire wall full of rice and noodle dishes to choose from.
Unlike my last school in Shangrao where I lived in a modified classroom in the main teaching building (NOISE!) without a kitchen etc, here I have a real apartment just like everyone else and I even have a balcony upon which I can sit with a coldie or a ‘jar’ of tea and watch the sun go down after another fabulous day. Sadly for me though, the school felt the need to put all of my beautiful classroom assistants in a dormitory just two meters away from my third floor front door!
If only I was a wizard! Beers N Noodles toya…..shane ___________________________________________________________
The soundtrack to this entry was by Live The album was ‘Secret Samadhi’ ____________________________________________________________