So, the 8-day National Day/Mid-Autumn Festival is over and now it is back to the grind for us. We don’t have another day off until the end of the semester, so we have 3 solid months of work ahead.
I don’t mind, after all it is what we came here to do, but it is always hard getting back into the school mindset when you just had 8 days off.
I haven’t written much about my classes yet, so I thought I’d take this time to explain what I am teaching. At most universities foreign teachers teach only one thing to students: Oral English. But not so at our university. They have all of us teaching many different classes on many different subjects.
For my schedule I am teaching 8 two-hour classes:
- Newspaper Reading (4 times a week)
- Basic Writing (twice a week)
- Oral English (once)
- Advanced Video (once)
(Advanced Video sounds fancy but all it means is we watch movies in English and discuss the movie and the culture afterwards. So far we have watched and discussed Dead Poet’s Society and American Beauty. American Beauty was a real shocker to them. Nobody liked it but it generated a lot of discussion afterwards. This week I told them I’d go easy on them and we would watch a fun movie where no one dies. They don’t know it yet but I’m going to show The Muppet Movie.)
My favorite class is Oral English because it is small, only 15 students, and because they talk so much I really get to know them. Newspaper Reading is my least favorite. It would be okay if I taught it only once or twice a week, but four times is really pushing it.
Honestly, I hate reading the news, and when I moved here I assumed I could forget about politics and Fox News and all that stupid stuff for awhile. Instead I’m stuck trying to explain what a conservative activist is and why our health care system is so messed up.
I also really love my writing classes and I’m excited that I get to help kids do something I enjoy so much. I’m trying to make it fun. I’m not making them write any long papers and I’m introducing them to a variety of different writing styles. I love their creativity and I’ll probably be sharing some more of their stories on this site.
Ryan is also teaching 8 two-hour classes but has less variety:
- Oral English (7 times a week)
- American and British Culture (Once a week)
He was suppose to teach a class on The History of the English Language, but not enough kids signed up for it, so they cancelled it. He was really happy about because he had no idea what that was actually supposed to be about.
So that’s my schedule. And now, if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to get back to grading papers.