Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Settling in...


I've just finished my first week teaching in Taiwan and it's been quite enjoyable. There is a lot to get used to on the paperwork side, but all in all I've adjusted quite well to the teaching here. The job here seems much more focused on teaching younger kids than my last job. It's fun and the lessons have a lot of structure which is handy but I'm still getting used to adapting some of my stock games to the style of teaching here.

My first week here was spent in Central Taipei on a training week and was fun to be honest. It got a bit tiresome having to travel into Taipei every morning and evening but the bus home is only about 30-40 minutes so it wasn't really that bad. I had the fortune of bumping into Rob a friend from Rugby... it was quite strange! He's a cover teacher for the same company and seems to float around different schools on a daily basis depending on demand for cover... so it was quite interesting that he ended up at head office during the week I was there!... Another incident occurred in a similar vain. While observing a class in a different branch somewhere in the city, where exactly I have no idea, I got talking to the teacher I was observing during the break and it turns out we have the same degree, from the same university and graduated in the same year and we had never met each other before, we even have a mutual friend... a very peculiar situation!...

With all the novelty of being a newbie and peculiar happenings starting to wear off, I've finally been able to get down and dirty and start getting into the flow of my classes. I'm gradually getting to know the students but they're not as responsive as students in Indonesia... they react to games but struggle when it comes to writing because I guess they are dealing with Roman script and sometimes even understanding that they are competing against each other prohibits the fun in an activity from shining through!... Luckily the bright students kick in and get competitive and help the weaker ones out. My teaching here is pretty much entirely kids in public classes and adults in a private one-on-one scenario. I kind of like it because it encompasses all of the aspects I enjoy about my job and the school provides texts that allow me to teach the material I'm supposed to be teaching!... For the last six months or so of working in Indonesia I became kind of deflated due to the lack of academic support on offer... so I'm really grateful that that predicament has been reversed!!... I put together a lot of my own materials during the last couple of months and now that I have a new toy box to use in class to make activities more exciting, accompanied by full courses and my own archive of supplementary materials, I'm spoilt for choice of things to use in the classroom!...

The only thing that is getting me down is the weather. It's about the same temperature in Taipei as it is back home at the moment and I've just left a country where it's 30 degrees centigrade EVERY day... but hopefully summer is on the way soon and it will start to heat up a bit here!... I'm just about getting used to the way things are done in my new school but am still having teething problems... in Indonesia I managed to get to know most of the kids really well and I could bellow at the top of my voice to inject pace into activities and the students knew that I wasn't angry because they were familiar with me on some student teacher kind of a level and that is yet to happen here so when one of the girls didn't realise it was her turn to race for her team during a board relay I shouted “Vivian!!!...” and bless the little moo she just burst into tears!... That's only the second kid I've made cry since I started teaching and that was just an overreaction, I think!... Fortunately we have teaching assistants here and there was nothing malicious on my part just a bit of a wimpy overreaction from a ten year old girl! =p … The TA gave her a hug and eventually she was able to man up and during the final activity I let her hold some of the flashcards... She left the classroom smiling and I was free from an ear bashing off Mummy which happened on only my second ever day of teaching! ...

Peace xxx

No comments:

Post a Comment