Right, so I figured that today I’d just go in to the school, chill out, maybe sit in on one of Tom’s classes and get a feel for the whole thing… but a sickly Matthew last evening put a kink in that.
As there is only five foreign teachers at the Jinzhou school, and I’m the only one that wasn’t working today – when Matthew called in sick, it sort of fell on me to cover for him. I’m beginning to think that the Great Energy Source has it in for me and just likes to see what happens when I’m put to a challenge.
I only had to do a two hour class first thing this morning, which was stressful because it’s all new – but otherwise went off well, then a 1/2 hour Child/Parent class with little kids (so cute) and a one hour class to wrap up the day. So, most of my day was spent sitting around and chatting with the receptionists.
The kids are good by and by… and I think I’ll find my groove soon enough. The 2 hour class first thing was difficult, but after I remembered that there was lesson plans in one of the books I had been given during orientation – the rest all fell together.
But brutally, I am filling in tomorrow as well – for a full 9 hour day. Then Monday sees me starting my standard 5-day work week… so seven days at a new job with no break. Fun.
Putting aside the whole “responsible for the English speakers of tomorrow” bit, the job isn’t so difficult and I’ve got a teacher’s assistant, who is Chinese and makes it quite a bit easier to deal with the kids (and makes a handy prop).
My schedule has me working with a range of kids aging from about 8 to 13 or so. By the end of the day I did everything in my power to stop myself from calling my Gr. 5 French teacher and offering to buy her a beer. I actually had to stop myself from saying “Tres bien!” instead of the much more English, “Very good!”
Well… I finally got a heating pad for my bed, and it works like a charm… time to go keep it company under all those covers. I’ve been told that a woman from the school is coming to put plastic over my window on Monday… not entirely sure it’ll make much of a difference, but…