It is hard to believe that we have been in China for 2 weeks and out of Colorado for almost a month already. This may not be the rosiest of posts but as excepted it is hard to start a new job especially in a new country. We checked out of our hotel this morning which means we will not have Skype or access to our blog until after the Chinese holiday when we have internet set up at our apartment. We will still have internet at school to check emails though. We have slowly been moving into our new place as it needed a deep clean. The Chinese idea of clean and our idea of clean is not quite the same! We spent last weekend shopping at IKEA for bedding and dishes and at Walmart for cleaning supplies and appliances. It really is cheap here as we spent about $400 and have all we need. Once we have a VPN and better internet we will share pictures of our apartment and more.
The last week has been a roller-coaster. Zane and I both have felt up one day and then down the next. We had to micro-teach together on our last day of training, which went very well. Micro-teaching means we had to team-teach to a handful of Chinese students that were offered a free class and have our peer teachers sit in as well. One of the students told us she LOVED us! That felt great and ended as a good day. The next day was the first day at our schools (now we are on our 4th day). A number of the days ended with us feeling awful and constantly having had pits in our stomachs. We keep asking ourselves, can we really do this, are we going to enjoy this, what are we doing here? Our confidence has been shaken but once we learn the grammar rules and how to give proper feedback we should feel more comfortable.
We are in a probation period for 2 months were we will be observed teaching to make sure it is a good fit. There are 3 main types of classes we will teaching. Workshops (25 students) which are classroom based and guided group work, Face to Face (4 students) which is in smaller classrooms and more one on one feedback and LIfe Clubs (25 students) which is an ‘apply’ class where we teach a topic and let the students speak more naturally together. We will be teaching 5 classes per day, which is a lot. Sometimes it will be all different classes as well with different lesson plans. Before the probation period is over we also have to pass a grammar test and we will need to put in quite a bit of time for this. The realization we both had today is that this is going to much harder than we thought and take more time than we expected.
We will both have Wednesday and Thursdays off each week. The Chinese Spring Festival starts this Friday so we get 3 days off for the holiday. We are excited to finally check out some of the city and see some fireworks! The fireworks started this morning at 7AM, we are told we will hear them start each morning for the next week!
Hope everyone is well. We miss you!