Miyun Week 9
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I had a long lie-in after arriving late back from the UK and spent the rest of the day preparing for lessons.
I had just one week left of the Grade 1 timetable before I was to swap with Inga to teach Grade 2, which I was really pleased about as it meant cutting my number of lessons by almost half.
On the Wednesday I gave my last evening class to Grade 1 students. I got through the lesson plan faster than anticipated so gave the students an opportunity to ask questions. One student stood up and made an impromptu speech. I was completely blown away because she said that her and all the other students would miss me very much, that they had really enjoyed my classes and felt their English was much better as a result of my teaching. As she continued she started to cry! I really couldn’t believe it and was actually rendered speechless which is a rarity for me! Another student then got up to say a few words...he then made a count to 3 and all the students cried ‘we love you’ in unison. Students were then taking pictures and asking me for hugs!! I had no idea I’d made such an impact.
On Thursday, Wendy invited me over for dinner. Again, another great meal and good chat. Her husband was home this time, so the rice wine came out but there was less gambei action as it was a school night.
Friday was my last day with Grade 1 and was pretty uneventful, except there was a visit from one of the old foreign teachers from the previous year - Elisa, from Kent. She seemed really nice, plus she’d come armed with Christmas presents for both Inga and I, which was really really kind given she didn’t know us.
Mr Guo had organised a lunch, which gave Inga and I an opportunity to quiz her on what life was like at the school when she was there. It would seem she had a lot more freedom than we’d been given, plus a much easier timetable and no evening classes! Definitely felt marginal jealous hearing that.
After lunch, Linda (head English teacher) told us we were needed at 2.30pm to take photos. We figured they perhaps wanted some group shots as Elisa was visiting. Anyhow, what actually happened was not a photo session, rather a meeting in which they could pick the foreign teachers’ brains about this bloomin’ oral book they’d been trying to put together. It did make me laugh...no such thing as a free lunch - they’d made sure they could get some use out of Elisa’s visit.
Fortunately it didn’t last long and I was able to sneak out in time to catch my flight to Hangzhou.