Thursday, February 16, 2012

Work Work Work

Vacation is not yet over, but sadly I'm already working away. There's a ton of stuff I want to have done before I go back to school (unit plans, reading passages, worksheets for review, plan for first week, new investment, management, and homework plans.....) and I've parked myself in a hostel in Kunming and am just working away on it all. It's boring, but the more I get done, the better the coming semester will be.

Vacation was really relaxing, and I got to see a lot of cool stuff, but not really that interesting. Most of my time was spent on a very touristy route, so here's my vacation in 30 seconds:
1. got an epic sunburn.
2. western food always available--weird.
3. Vietnam=scooters, Thailand=cars
4. I love vietnamese coffee, avacado shakes, vietnamese sandwiches, and pad thai
5. gained weight
6. rented a scooter while on an island (that had no cars)=awesome
7. rode on way too many buses

I'm looking forward to getting back to teaching. Vacation was nice, but I definitely missed having some purpose in my day to day life other than trying to enjoy myself.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

And He's Back!

I'm back! I've been on a small island in Thailand, and apparently there was some problem with the satellite connection so the island was internetless for a while, but the internet is fixed! (just in time for me to leave).
Vacation has been great, but here's something I wrote on one of the many long bus journeys I've been on about how the semester ended.

So, I've been away from school for a while now, and I think I've finally stopped stressing about class, and have started getting a little exciited about going back. Not excited enough to go back early or anything, just excited to start thinking about what I'm going to do differently and better next semester. I finally got to see my final grades for my class, and I'm pleased. My kids did well. Out of the ten normal class (our school has two advanced classes that only have the strongest students) my class got the fourth highest average on the final which is a pretty big jump from the midterm where we were second to last. Test scores are incredibly important in China (something I'll write more about) so seeing that kind of improvement is gratifying.

Right now, I'm working on a reader full of passages for students to practice their reading skills. The curriculum really doesn't do a good job of teaching reading, so I applied for an internship with TFC to write something that will help. I don't know if anyone (other than me) is going to actually end up using it, but it's a fun project. The current passage is about a lion who lives at the zoo and who wants to be friends with a panda, but is worried that if he gets hungry he'll eat his friend. (He ends up eating the panda's brother to solve this problem. Sadly, his panda friend decides that she doesn't want to be friends with someone who would eat her the lion eats her too because he's still hungry)

I'm also working on figuring out how I'm going to review with my kids when we get back to school. I really hope that they studied over break, but if their study habits are similar to my own, they'll have forgotten all their English, and I'm going to have to restuff their heads with all the English that they've forgotten.