Deliciously Demanding

Today was my first day of teaching. It was absolutely fantastic, deliciously demanding and challenging in all the most positive of ways.

I have whiteboard marker ink under my fingernails. My back aches and my feet are swollen. I taught six classes from four year olds to twelve year olds, from the smallest group of four to the largest group of twenty six.  But I couldn’t feel more satisfied than I do now.

I have sung, danced with a tambourine, played numerous games and generally made a complete spectacle out of myself. The sole purpose of this display of crazy Australian woman behaviour was to immerse children in English language. The great thing is that I let them do most of the talking with myself and the fabulous Chinese co-teachers as just guides, monitors and time and record keepers. I use the word “just” loosely here; it really is a huge task!

The school sings with kids in a way I don’t recognise from Australian schools. Noise, fun, laughter and singing and the best part: no bellowing control freak teachers. I apologise to Australian teachers who aren’t like some of those I have experienced – but honestly I have experienced a lot of what I call “negative behaviourists” rather than educators in Australian education.

I dined out with two of my fabulous Chinese co-teachers tonight, absolutely awesome food and company. The bill came to a grand total of about 12 AUD for the three of us to eat a large amount of very healthy and tasty fresh food.

I have not had worked in a work place as lively and as friendly as this one for about seven years and the rest of the foreign teachers are also fabulous.   They include a Welshman, three Englishmen, and a gentleman from Ghana.

I’m not going to write for long tonight. I need to sleep for another day like today tomorrow. I have three consecutive days of teaching til August. Friday, Saturday and Sunday and the rest of the week is mine.

The irony for today is that on the walk to work I stepped into a Starbucks for coffee for the very first time. My first visit to a Starbucks and it is in China.

On that walk I learned that out of a city with a population of 4.4 million, only 1500 or so are foreigners.

Oh, and my apartment key is shaped liked a guitar.

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