First Day at School!
Jimo Travel Blog› entry 9 of 28 › view all entries
There's no doubt we'll all remember our first day at school - four/ five years old, terrified about leaving the happy nursery school/ mum and dad, etc. But this was a first day at school that was totally different.
First day as a teacher would be nerve wracking enough, but first day teaching in a Chinese school's another matter entirely.
Our school is the No28 Middle School, or Ershibahzhong.
We were all geared up to face the troops, but it turned out that those of us who were teaching Grades 2 & 3 (intermediate and advanced English, 13 - 16 years old) wouldn't actually be taking classes until a week later, but we would still be getting paid for the redundant week. Fine me thinks!
So our first day was spent getting used to the huge classrooms, which had no aircon, while pupils sat aptitude tests and did interviews with us so we could see what their spoken English was like.
Then it was lunchtime. Staff and pupils ate in the same dining room, a separate block to the four classroom buildings and the admin offices. Meals were served on a metal cut out tray, with chopsticks, a starchy bread roll and your carbonated drink of choice...Sprite or generic fanta! I will admit most of the lunches weren't bad, but when you're get a whole fish slapped on your tray, head, eyes, skin and all, and only a pair of chopsticks with which to dissect it, a quick bike ride out of school for a lunchtime beer seems a much better idea!
Anyway, the rest of the day was spent testing the kids, and finding our feet, and trying to figure out what we'd do for the week in Jimo, which isn't the most exciting of towns.
We were a tad shocked to learn we'd to be in school for , start lessons at , break mid morning, lunch at , afternoon classes start , break mid afternoon then end at .
The kids are actually in school longer than that, some start lessons at , and some also stay behind for extra classes in the afternoon.
We were also kind of shocked at how tired we all were, even though we'd not actually been teaching. Think it's the heat that really hits you.
And so home to the family, to dinner and more awkward questions along the lines of why am I not married yet, would I like them to find me a nice Chinese boy to marry and could I stay with them longer than I'm supposed to!!
After we'd eaten, 'Mum' took He-He and me to Mohe Park in the town...I was stared at by all, a couple of girls asked to take my picture on their phones and I had to run about and chase demon child.