I've never fallen in love with kids so fast as I did today with mine. I love them all-even the ones who are crazy and a handful, like Walter.
This afternoon started off with our first group of kids. We had 29 of them in the first group and they all came into the opening room, where we line them all up and go over the rules, sing songs and talk about the day and month. They came all right in, stood on their lines and when it came to sing a song, they decided that BINGO would be the first one. Holy smokes, it was like the national anthem, they were all screaming at the top of their lungs. I loved it.
We split into our fifteen minute rotations. My subject this week is Drama, so we are reading "The Hungry Caterpillar" and acting out parts of the story. My kids are SO smart. They've been in the program for a couple years, so they speak English pretty well. I started off with showing them a picture of my family from America. I'm pretty sure that was their favorite part of the lesson; they LOVED seeing my family. They kept on pointing to different people and saying: "you mom? you dad?" I would point to each one and say: "This is my dad, his name is Jimmy!" They would all take turns pointing to dad and saying "Teecha's Dad!" They also LOVED how blonde everyone was. In one of my classes, I had a Kate, Jake and a Jimmy, so when I told them how my dad's name was Jimmy, they all started laughing and Jimmy looked like it was the BEST thing ever to have the same name as my American father. Same for Kate and Jake. It was so funny. These kids just want to be loved and praised by me, and will fight over who can sit next to me and who can help me with the lesson.
Our second group was just as great, just more advanced. I only had to put one kid in Chinese chair today (a chair outside of the group for when they keep on speaking in Chinese after being reminded that it is English only). That was Walter, and he was a crazy kid and probably my most challenging. But, I kept my stern face on, and kept him in control.
We talked about the caterpillar egg, and I had them guess what animal would be in the egg, while showing them different stuffed animals. I even brought my bear hat and had them try it on, which they thought was a hoot.
Some of the high-lites from my first day of teaching is:
-Three little girls looking at me and chanting "You are so beautiful"
-Ian looking at me and asking me: "Does it snow in America?" and when I said yes, he looked at me like I was the COOLEST person on the face of the earth!
-Michael breaking out into Justin Bieber's "Baby" in the middle of our discussion of baby bears-and then being really embarrassed because I got SO excited that he started singing.
-After showing one group the picture of my family, I said: "cool, huh?" and all of my kids repeated me a million times, because they thought it was the funniest saying ever. They kept on laughing and saying: "cool, huh?"
As wonderful as today was, I have to totally revamp my lesson plans for the rest of the week, because I didn't expect my kids to be so advanced and they were getting bored in some of my groups. And as fun as it was, it was exhausting and overwhelming as well. It's only day one, but I can tell you that REAL teaching is by far the hardest and most rewarding thing I've ever done. (Besides fighting cancer)
Our group is still getting along great, but is a little frustrating with some of the people because I don't think they came to China to teach; they saw it more as a cheap way to see the country, so they complain a lot about teaching and don't put as much effort into it as they should. I hope that will change as they spend more time with the kids, because they really think the world of us and just want to make us happy.
After teaching, we went up to the cafeteria and had dinner (not my favorite tonight-Lamb and eggplant stew) and then we were in meetings for two hours after. I finally got into my room to send this, and to look at my lesson plan tomorrow. We are going out with our foreign coordinator tomorrow into the City for Pizza (she really wants to take us there) so it will be a fun way to celebrate valentine's day with the group.
Until next time,