I am so blessed.
That’s the only way I know how to begin. I feel that I am exactly where the Grand Designer wants me to be and that I am doing good works and making positive changes in my world.
This semester I have only been given four (4) classes to teach. Each class in 90 minutes in length leaving me with the remainder of my week to work on Lesson Plans, meet with co-laborers, and work with my students and friends here in China.
My typical day goes something like this:
5:30 AM – The chickens begin their morning song and the sun comes blaring though my window
6:30 AM – Walk out to the West Gate (about 15 min walk) to the Food Street and pick up some Baozi (steamed rice bread thing) and a Soy Milk for 3.00 RMB.
8:30 AM – Walk out to the Bus Stop. From there I ride for 45 minutes in Green Minivan with 10 other Chinese Teachers across town to the Shoyi Campus where I teach.
10:00 AM – Teach Class
11:35 AM – Go to lunch with some of my Students in the School Dinning Hall. (This usually consists of me asking for assistance ordering noodles or meat and vegetable dishes with rice.)
Noon(ish) – Walk to the City Bus Stop (about 2 blocks) and catch the bus back to my apartment.
2:00 PM – Get a Nap (Not really. Most days I use this time to work on lesson plans, but yes there is built in time in my schedule for naps).
4:00 PM – Work out (in the School’s Fitness Center).
6:00 PM – Dinner (most days I cook or make food at home, but usually a couple days a week I will meet some of the other teachers here for a meal together).
Two evenings a week I am involved in Free English Lessons and/or discussion groups and one night a week is devoted to meeting with Chinese Friends for further studies.
This semester I have been blessed to have fewer students and really get the chance to know them. Whereas last semester I had over 400 students, this semester I have under 100. One of my classes meets 2x a week, which has enabled me to get to know them on a personal level.
I am teaching two preps this semester, a Listening Class and a Speaking Class. I had not realized that you could have a class for one without the other, because anytime someone speaks you must listen and vice versa, but Hey, this is China and I just roll with it.
I don’t have a textbook or other supplemental materials to use in class so I create all of my own lesson materials. I usually spend about 6-8 Hours a week preparing lessons for my classes, between creating handouts, and Powerpoints. I use index cards to hit the high points of the questions in my lesson so I don’t freeze when I get up in front of my class.
I try to do all my grading in the Classroom so I don’t have to take Journals up to grade for homework, and most classwork is verbally presented rather than having students hand in their papers. I hate having a lot of papers to grade, and I don’t think it facilitates learning for Oral Speaking.
I am so excited that you have continued to read my Blog throughout the months that I have been here in China. I couldn’t do what I do here without the continuing support of each and every one of you.
Please continue to lift me up in Prayers for the work here in China, that I might teach my students how to live responsible, and moral lives, and how to be trustworthy and honest in a world where those values are quickly slipping away.
– Love Always