Friday, 6th, March, 2010. I had
a luxurious lie in today. I slept until 11:30 and got up slowly; I had a shower
and got dressed. Our shower is incredibly powerful, but it is on a badly
designed hanger which only allows it to be directed horizontally into your
face. It’s utterly useless unless you take it off the hanger and use it by
hand. It’s such a chore. Vivi called to say that she could not take me to
school in the afternoon. I freaked out a bit and spent a few hours pacing and
fretting about my classes and how I was going to find the right class rooms.
Sarah calmed me down.
When I arrived at school half an hour early
I walked to the teacher’s room. All the teachers looked at me as if I was a
pink flamingo which had just flapped its way into their room. They just stared
at me. One teacher who could speak English said. “You don’t have any classes
today”. I showed her my lesson schedule “oh this is the primary school you are
teaching in the middle school”. I knew this but I asked if I could wait in the teacher’s
room. I sat down and everyone got back to work. One teacher handed me a yoghurt
with a smile. At that moment I was determined to make friends with the teachers
here. Mainly because if I am going to work here for a year it would be nice to
get to know them. I was intrigued by them all. I wanted to know where they were
from, why they were teaching. It’s another of my challenges to put down. Become
familiar with fellow teachers. Because it would be all too easy to fly through
the year without even knowing one of their names.
I felt more like a student in a teacher’s
office, rather than a teacher. I had to remind myself that I was not in
I left the office 10 minutes before my
class and walked across to the middle school buildings. I asked one teacher
where my class was in Chinese. She directed me to the 2nd floor of
one of the buildings. When I got to the second floor, I asked another teacher
and she told me that my class was on the 4th floor. I went up to the
fourth floor, now profusely sweating and asked again at what I thought was my
class. One nice student told me that my class was back on the second floor. I wondered
if I was being taken for a ride. The student took me to the right class and I
waited outside for the other class to end. When it did one of the students came
out and loudy said “Where are you from”, while he walked passed me without
waiting for a reply. I instantly disliked him and thought that I could easily
grab his legs and throw him over the balcony of the corridor onto the yard
When I entered the class it was loud and raucous.
I settled my books down and calmed myself. Then the same student came close to
me and shouted “WHATS YOUR NAME!!”. It wasn’t so much a question rather a look
at me I am speaking English with the foreigner. I spun around and told him to
stop shouting. He laughed and walked away. Some girls in the corner giggled and
shrieked away. I told some students to stop running and when the loud student
shouted another English question at me, I gave him a fiery look and stared at
him until he laughed and started playing around with his class mates.
When the music began to signal student to
sit down some of the students sat down but most of them kept mucking around. I
asked them twice nicely to sit down after the music had stopped. Many of them
ignored me or just nodded and did nothing. I knew it was time to scare them. I
shouted as loud as I could “SIT DOWN NOW!!!”, This got their attention but they
were in shock and didn’t move. I yelled again “SIT DOWN RIGHT NOW!!”, This gave
them all the clear message and they all ran to their seats. I was quivering
with rage when they all had sat down a glared at them all and said “Jesus what
is wrong with you?” I noticed that the class teacher at the back was looking
very scared and shocked. There was blissful silence. I kept up the pretence
that I was miffed and started the lesson. I asked the shouty student lots of
questions and he was clever and I won him over to my side. Also a large sullen
kid at the back who kept on staring at me from under his eye browse turned out
to be very shy. I also asked him questions and he timidly answered them. The
class went well. I think that one clear scare tactic can prove very effective.
I think if I shouted to obtain it would lose its effect, but one shout was all
they needed. I actually love shouting. There are not many opportunities that
one gets to shout in daily life. It really releases your anger and emotions.
The teacher who was watching my class
seemed like she was having fun and the whole class was also having fun without
getting out of control. When the class was over and when I had left I forgot my
lesson plan and the loud student ran after me with my papers and gave them to
me as I was half way out of the school. He politely handed them to me with both
hands and smiled. I was very touched and pleased.
I went back home and planned for the next
day. I am doing my first lesson tomorrow at the New window school. Its two 2
hours lessons so I have a lot of planning to do.