A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about teaching

Back to China :)

After a summer holiday in the UK...

sunny 28 °C

So... after having been in China for 10 months, and then spending 5 weeks in the UK to catch up with old friends over the summer, I find myself back on my home soil - China.

It's strange to go from living somewhere so familiar for a such a long time, to move to somewhere so different in so many ways, only to feel more at home and at peace with yourself in your new surroundings rather than your old ones.

China is so incredible and has been the best decision I think I've ever made. Asia is so beautiful and so are the people, their cultures and how they treat people. I feel so at home here and welcome. When I finally returned, people welcomed me with love and open arms and I've never been so happy to be anywhere in the world.

Obviously the proximity to other Asian countries is ideal for travelling and allowing me to see other wonderful cultures on this side of the world, but more so than that, it allows me to continue soaking up the atmosphere and really emerge myself in the culture and customs and especially the language of this amazing country.

Ay, there's the rub! The language! It still eludes me but everyday I feel as though another word or the correct pronunciation sticks in my brain a little longer. It's so unfamiliar having to use tones and intonation to change a word rather than provide emphasis as we do in the English language. However, I welcome the challenge and will hopefully reap the rewards in due time.

People tell me I am an inspiration - I enjoy this idea but don't believe it. I feel very blessed to have found the strength to do what I have done but it was inspiration that drew me to this place; I can only hope that my story helps others find the inspiration to do something they will truly love with their whole heart as I do now.

At the minute however, I feel very disconnected from myself which is making me feel disconnected from China so this needs to be rectified immediately! I think my brief time in the UK has reset me somehow, so I feel like I have to re-tune myself to my surroundings and rejoice in them once again. A brief moment in time showed me that although I love it here, and I do, when something happens and I cannot find a friend here to console me, I still have people in my life, albeit in a different country, that can still bestow good wishes and vibes on me which is reassuring and gives me hope that even though rivers and oceans separate me from the most important people in my life, they are never truly that far away.

This new school year promises to be a fruitful one - my kids from last year are my kids this year so I get to enjoy their growth from the beginning until the end, which will be very rewarding. The plan for Chinese New Year is Cambodia, Vietnam and possibly Malaysia so watch this space for another look at the Asian world through the eyes of a soon to be once again optimistic western traveller :)

Posted by Lady Mantle 05:52 Archived in China Tagged cambodia malaysia vietnam work chinese_food travelling students teaching teachers foreigners tefl new_beginnings chinese_games starting_again Comments (0)

School, Weekend away to Xian, movie nights and sore bums!

sunny 22 °C

Sorry for the radio silence recently!

Forgive me! It has been 10 days since my last blog entry!

School has been occupying my time, planning lessons, marking work, reprimanding children who don't do my homework; the usual!

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The school had an opening ceremony for their sports meet last week, and all of the classes made a sign for their class and marched around the running track, it was great, they looked so smart!

This is mine and Michelle's classes together as they form Year 1!

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So proud!

They're obsessed with Gangnam Style here, so when one of the other classes was going around the track with their class sign, they stopped in front of us (we were on like a judges panel in the bandstand bit of the seating block!) and when the music started for Gangnam Style, everyone went crazy whilst this one class did the dance!

They love dancing here, it's crazy!

They also love things with poor or incorrect English on them...

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Some of them walk around in T-shirts with sentences on them that make no sense, and is probably not what they want to be walking around advertising!

They love foreigners too, everyone says hi to you, whether they're your student or not, and people ask to take pictures of you most of the time as well, whilst doing the peace sign obviously!!

We had Friday off due to the sports meet, so we hopped on the train and went to Xian:

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Where we found....... A SUBWAY!!

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Which the boys particularly enjoyed!

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Then we went to our hostel for the weekend, the inside looked like the outside, and Matt couldn't help but dance down the corridor!

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Out in Xian...

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Then I used this little beauty to get around the City Wall of Xian (the blueish square surrounding the middle of the city on the map), whilst everyone else suffered the wrath of the Tandems! Lets just say after 14ish miles worth of cycling (with rests every now and again), our bums were more than a bit sore!

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So Mish and I went to get our nails did! (This is deliberately incorrect grammar, so shh!)
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And after another Subway(!) and some shopping (and bartering!) we got the train home and panicked about having nothing planned for Monday's lessons!

Whoops!

As an incentive, and because I won't need all of my pay check each month to live on,
I've changed the names of my savings accounts to help me save money for next year :D
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So friggin' excited!

Posted by Lady Mantle 21:40 Archived in China Tagged xian school hostel subway cycling teaching carbs city_wall sore_bum Comments (7)

Chinese school and a cheeky photo of me and Mish

sunny 24 °C

Chinese school days are looooong!

The kids start at 7:10 and don't finish until 9pm!

Today I had a morning session and I have an afternoon and evening session! Luckily for me there is a 3-4 hour gap between each so I can come back to the apartment and nap!

I had my first evening session with them last night and hadn't done anything work with them previously so had nothing to go over, so essentially, we played games for 2 hours...!

Best. Teacher. Ever!

Started the morning session today with a ball game as half the kids were asleep - they were confused at first then excited to be playing a game before class!
Then I hit them with the Past Simple.
Boosh.

It's annoying though, because there are triers and achievers in my class.
The triers answer questions, incorrectly most of the time, but they still try and the achievers do the written work but then there's a smaller group of students who just aren't at the same level because they just aren't. It's not their fault; they are simply not as advanced as the others.

But having marked the work they did this morning, I can see a lot more attention is needed before we can move on to the next thing.

We shall see what this afternoon brings!

Anyway, as requested by my Yiayia - here is a picture of me and Mish at the Great Wall :)

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Posted by Lady Mantle 19:52 Archived in China Tagged students teaching lessons tefl chinese_school Comments (2)

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