Part 1 - Teaching
This part really worried me as I was now unavoidably scheduled for teaching, yes, with no preparation at all (I know that since the online training we were supposed to prep, but with the VISA delays and family matters this was impossible). Thankfully I had a partner Asmaa, from Norway, she like Sophie had not joined with the British Council but another company. (this began a whole other confusion when talking about past meetings, group matters, wechat and facebook conversations and our non-Chinese contacts.) Asmaa had been teaching our class from the beginning and was eager for me to relieve the pressure of teaching classes, she had even called in sick the previous day. She ensured me the classes were a doddle and not to worry about it too much as there were no real expectations or regulation. Me being me, this of course did not ease my nerves at all but I could relax for today as she had prepared a lesson and invited me to just observe. Asmaa made it look so easy, she used a well-made interactive power point (or ppt as they call it in China) which had been shared with her. You could tell she was used to it by now. Everyone seemed pretty confident and it seemed crazy to think they were all as clueless as me a few weeks ago. I knew I was lucky to have Asmaa.
'Training' seemed determined to throw us all right into teaching so of course the next lesson was mine. I then stayed up late preparing a lesson and ppt for tomorrow as everyone had to do, but the next morning when I joined the other Shunyi Renhe' Middle School teachers my heart sank as I was told Asmaa was too sick to teach today.
As I entered the class alone for the first time the class 'WOWed' at my presence just as they had done when I first showed up intsead of being nervous I began to realise I had some real authroity and respect in a Chinese classroom. It turned out that I had nothing to worry about I came prepared with a jam packed lesson plan which helped. It included Olympic facts and history, sports verbs and tenses, countries and their associations which looking back now, I know was highly overdoing it. Our class were an easy bunch and very clever which meant all the questions and activities I had went down well.
I put the fact that the class were so good down to the smartest students being selected for this summer school and that the school was of high ranking and in the capital city of China. You could tell from the campus alone that the school was well off. Although I found this experience of teaching a great starter and confidence boost I would not expect same from my lower tier city in the south of China.