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An update!

I’m settling nicely into the primary school. The head teacher of the English department is a lovely young lady named Kitty. She was delighted to assign me to 6th grade–they have a reputation for being bad, and I have one for being a tough teacher. Each of the 6 grades in the primary school is supposed to have 2 foreign English teachers and 2 Chinese English teachers. When school started on the 1st, we had 4 foreigners total. Kitty and I were alone in 6th grade, which receives the most intensive English curriculum. For the first week we had to cut down their schedule, they only got 10 classes. This week we added another foreign teacher, Lisa (and we’re up to 7 for the whole primary school). We currently have the chaos of rearranging schedules, and the kids will be getting 12 English classes a week until we get our other Chinese English teacher, when we’ll have to change the schedules again! Loads of fun.

There are 4 classes of 6th grade (6 if you count the two studying in Los Angeles this year, which I don’t since I’ll never see them). Until Lisa arrived I saw each class 5 times a week. That was 3-5 classes a day depending on the day, all between 7:50 and 12:20. Kitty saw them about the same number of classes. Now Lisa and I have divided them up. I have classes 2 and 3, the best and the worst; while Lisa has 1 and 4, the ok classes. We see each of our classes 10 times a week (again 3-5 lesson per day), and Kitty sees each of them twice a week (for comparison, the other grades get 7 classes a week). The classes are currently of mixed English levels. Once we get another teacher we’ll combine two classes, then divide them into three according to their English levels (turning 4 classes into 6). I have no idea how many classes they’ll get per week then! Most of the kids are pretty good, only a few I want to defenestrate, and I like my coworkers. We have a lot of fun in the office, lots of joking and the occasional Chinese sing-along.

As for the rest of life here, Sam and I are making friends and having fun. We mostly hang out with the middle school teachers (Sam’s coworkers), but we get along with almost all of the teachers here. It’s nice to have a larger group of people to interact with, personality conflicts will take much longer to brew. Last Friday a big group went out to dinner and Karaoke, it was a blast. Saturday a few of us went wandering around Beijing. We had Peking duck for lunch and went to the zoo, which is huge! This coming Saturday, Sam and I are going to the Paralympics with Kelly (Middle school math). We’re going to see wheelchair rugby. We’re all really excited about it, and you can expect lots of pictures!

That’s probably more than enough babble from me, I’ll let Sam post his own update on his views of Huijia for comparison.

{ 1 } Comments

  1. wench | November 4, 2008 at 3:35 am | Permalink

    You two lovebirds too overcome with affection and / or work to update? ;)

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