Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A normal day

What I do varies a lot by what day it is, and what we've been doing recently, but today was a pretty normal day:

6:40 wake up for 7:10 morning study hall

7:10-7:50 morning study hall. The kids are still a little sleepy, so I mostly drill vocab and have them practice reading passages. (recent vocab: play the guitar, violin, piano, trumpet, chess club (none of these kids can play chess, I'm gonna teach em), swimming club (does that sound strange to anyone else?) why, or, then....there's a lot every chapter). I also did a small spelling test

8:00 walk into town and grab a meat bun for breakfast, then work on grading a test I recently gave.

10:40-11:20 class: we worked on grammar structures using "or, but, and, why"

11:30 I go an eat lunch. I keep getting food poisoning from the cafeteria, so I've started eating off campus so I head to a local place and get pulled rice noodles.

12:30 back on campus for  a tutoring session. I've been working on mastering simple key words (he, she, her, his, what, where, when...) with my slower kids, so we work on that for thirty minutes.

1:05 English Corner! English Corner happens every Wed, and every class sends its best two English students for Jarlene and I to teach. Today I taught them to sing (a modified version of) the drinking song from Jaws (Show me the way to go home.....)

2:00 Class: Learned the remaining vocab in Chapter 10 today. (Sunday, am, pm, kid, show, email, address) and reviewed previous vocab. (Jarlene co-taught this period with me)

2:50-3:30--prepped materials for afternoon, took a look at the spelling test I gave them during zaodu

3:40 class: I normally don't have this period, but having to substitute class is pretty common. The worked on a worksheet for a few minutes, and then we practiced vocab and sentence structures for the remaining time. (2 classes of content is already quite a bit for many of these kids).

I normally have a dinner tutoring session at 5:30, but I couldn't go, so I gave those kids who normally go to that session homework to leave by my door at 6:00.

5:00--6:30--We (TFC fellows) organized a dinner with our homeroom teachers. Homeroom teachers are incredibly important here (homeroom teacher is a really bad translation that doesn't explain the importance that these teachers have in these kids' lives). We had good food at a local restaurant, and got to chat about kids in our class. It was useful, and it was nice to commiserate about some of the kids with somebody else who really gets it.

6:50--7:10 Another tutoring session, this one for more advanced students. It's voluntary (i.e. only three kids show up) but it's really nice to be teaching the kids that are pumped about learning. We worked on translating fairly complex Chinese sentences into English.

And now it's now! After I'm done writing this, I'm going to type out a more official lesson plan for the class that I'm getting observed tomorrow, finish grading tests and entering the data into my tracker, and then hopefully have time to skype.


  1. Busy day indeed! I'm glad you seem to have pinpointed the source of the food poisoning and are avoiding it whenever possible. It doesn't sound like you have much free time during the school day.