I have now completed my first 5 weeks of teaching which has absolutely flown past. I feel like I have learnt so much during these initial weeks. I teach children who vary in age from 5 years old right up to 15 years old. I have to admit that teaching children was not my initial choice and at times having several small individuals roaming around my knees can be quite unnerving for me. A feeling I have gained after attending not only my own nieces and nephews’ birthday parties but also my friends’ children’s parties! However this was something that I was going to have to get over if I had any plans on surviving this semester.
The first week I was given a textbook with an accompanying CD for each of my classes and my colleague told me that the students would arrive Saturday morning. I then spent the next 10 minutes waiting for her to give me more information as I knew I needed more guidance and I had so many questions
- How old are the students?
- How good is their English?
- Do they understand simple tasks?
- How many students are in each class?
Unfortunately my questions remained unanswered until each of my classes arrived and I nervously stood up in front of them.
Initially it was a daunting thought having to get up in front of all these small children. I am not usually one to shy away from attention, in fact at times I quite like to be the centre of attention which I’m sure many of my friends will agree with, however this was almost felt like unwanted attention. Then for the second time in one week I found myself faced with more questions?
- What if they don’t understand me?
- What happens if my Yorkshire twang is too difficult for them to grasp?
- What if they don’t want to play games?
- What do I do if they sit and talk about me in Mandarin?
All valid questions but the time had come to either sink or swim.
I am happy to say I survived my first week which still remains to have been the hardest week so far.
With each passing week I have started to learn about each of my classes. I recognise the friendship groups, I know who is overly confidently and who constantly avoids eye contact in any shape or form. Planning my lessons, for which I am given three whole days to so, is much easier now than the very first week.
Over these first 5 weeks I feel that I have started to develop a good relationship with my students and have started to understand what makes them tick. By all means I am not an expert and do not claim to be one but at least I feel like I am heading in the right direction.
As I sit preparing for my 6th week teaching I am still full of questions; will the students remember anything after having the Qingming holiday? Will Samsung still insist on sitting under his desk? And will the students ever all arrive on time?
Despite all this I am excited to see what the next 5 weeks will bring.