First Day of School
On my third week of my new life in China, I was thrusted into my 1st class. It was Serena’s, my SA (Student Advisor), idea to make sure that I got the chance to teach my first class before our CNY (Chinese New year) holiday. She felt that I was ready and I agreed. Little did I know that my first class was going to be my hardest class. Why? Because my first class was an open class.
Now, an open class is a reoccurring thing for TEFL teachers. It served the primary purpose to showcase what the students can - and will - learn in a class. But that’s not all. Later, I learned that it also gives the parents an opportunity to see the way I can teach their kids. It was that last one that really made me nervous. I know I’m a good teacher because I taught martial art to kids. Plus I had no problem telling parents to shut up and leave teaching to the ones with the degrees. But that was in America and I wasn’t in America, anymore. I needed a new approach - and fast.
Lucky for me, my CTs (Co-Teachers) and Simon along with so many other people were willing to help me until the dynamic. The main takeaway I got was that…they weren't worried about me. In fact, Owen’s reputation spoke for itself so they just assumed that I’m a good teacher. It didn’t make me feel better but it did give me an idea.
If they weren’t so concerned about me, then I wouldn’t be about them. I teach kids so I would focus on the kids. It was a great idea and it was something I was going to keep to myself. I didn’t want to run the risk of offending anyone. Again, new environment and all that.
When it finally came time to teach, I had practiced enough time that I was more than confident in my abilities to teach. I had the game ready and I had my lesson plan ready…or so I thought. Remember the song from the musical “Dear Evan Hanson”. It was a song about the fact, when it comes down to raising kids, you are flying blind - no matter how prepared you are. Same went for teaching. I was flying blind and halfway through “I was making it up as I go.”
The class still went well. I made up games that ended up being staples to my teaching plans. I do love my sticky ball and the kids had a marvelous time. Even the parents were enjoying themselves but I surmise it was because of their kids. Time went by a lot faster for me when I allowed myself to let loose. I mean…I do work a lot better when I’m laid back. I’m also a lot easier to approach that way. Ha ha!
Anyway, I got high fives all around and went home to start my CNY vacation. Honestly, I couldn’t wait to start teaching. I guess I was still on achievement high. Too bad that wasn’t going very long.
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