Back To The Future

I have to admit that 90% of my motivation to write an entry comes from the fact that I have a legitimate reason for using that title. Hehe.

Well into using a couple bottles of China’s finest pijiu to wash away the week’s hardships last night I got a phone call from my old manager at Future School. Looks like one of the teachers there was out for the count with illness and they needed a sub.

Enter me, sub extrodinaire. I swear, I was made for jobs that require me to come in, have little to no responsibility and get paid nearly twice as much as the regular staff.

That said, I have noticed that I’ve a new found hmmm… love is just too strong a word, but a new found something for teaching. Teaching at the primary school for a little more than a month now has given me a real sense of what it is to teach to a massive amount of kids that want to do anything but sit still and pay attention for an extended duration of time.

It has also shown me that I really do dig kids. I’ve mentioned it a few times on here, and I notice it more and more. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I still yell something fierce when they get too noisy and I’ve more than once considered the ratio of how long it takes a particularly naughty student to fall from the second floor and how long it takes me to get to the embassy in Beijing… BUT, I’ve started to develop a real affection for the students I teach. I see them learning, and see them look to me to teach them and it’s amazing that you can actually play a difference in someone’s life that directly.

There aren’t a lot of other jobs where you have the opportunity to play such a seminal role in someone’s life.

Anyway, back to the future. 😉 (that’s twice). I only had to do five and a half hours teaching today, and it was a nice amount to remind myself of what I’m missing at Future School and also how different things are at the primary school.

Small classes is just COMPLETELY the way to go. If I could combine the small classes of Future School (no more than 18, and averaging around 10-12) with the short classes at my primary school (40 minutes) – that would just be excellent. The kids would have more one-on-one talking time and be able to ask lots of questions, plus they wouldn’t get exhausted in a big 2 hour session.

It’s funny as I was told by the Chinese teacher assistant that a couple of the classes I was teaching today were “rowdy/naughty” and it’s possible that just having a stranger come teach them might have straightened them up for the day, but managing a class of 10 students WITH a Chinese teacher assistant always there to step in and help me is just SO much easier than trying to control 40 kids all trying to talk at once, with only 5% of them actually using English to do it – sans Chinese teacher assistant.

Strangely enough, I don’t mind it though. I’m not kicking myself for changing jobs and with the perspective that today leant me, I really do just see it as “different”. Not better and not worse… just a whole other animal.

[LEFT] From 9:30 to 10 a.m. every morning this is what all my students can be found doing. [RIGHT] An English teacher and Foreign Teacher Liaison extrordinaire. Oddly enough, also named Maggie.

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