The Week Before Teaching…

There is nothing better in the world than standing in front of a class and trying to help them understand something – anything. It is hard. It takes time and practice to figure out how to best maximize the 35-minute sessions. Within the time, the class can change and mold and move and go all over the place. Lesson plans made before the class can fall apart or fall together perfectly. It is awesome.
School started a week ago. The kids came back refreshed and ready to get on with it. Most of the kids are familiar with how the process goes – where to go and what to do. There has been a week of ‘Training’ and ‘discipline training,’ but all these things are done in Chinese. I don’t speak it.
Being at my desk, lesson planning and preparing for lessons I will teach is painful. There is no motivation when it’s not known when the kids will be mine. Being bored while others are getting in on the fun of being in front of a classroom is torture. Some see it as a luxury, a perk of my job. I’d rather be in front of the class, doing my thing making the kids laugh, getting them to speak even those who are too shy to. It is just fun – so much fun.
The proper lessons begin on Wednesday, but there are a lot of new teachers who don’t know the kids, don’t know who speaks and who doesn’t, don’t know who needs a kind hand and those who may need a stern word. It is hard to come to a school where everyone is new. It’s hard for the new teachers but also for the students who are also trying to figure things out and trying to figure out how to work the system. Everything takes time, but I’m impatient.
Chances are, I will teach next week, but I hope I am wrong. I hope I can be in front of a class this week – doing my thing and seeing the kids smile.

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