Technically, I started working last Monday even though I don’t start teaching until next Monday. This means that I follow the same working hours as the rest of the teachers: 7:30am – noon, 2:00pm – 5:30pm. Since I’m not teaching classes this week, I’m watching them. This way I’ll get to know my way around the Kindergarten and Primary School, the other teachers and co-teachers, the students, and the general flow of the lessons. I observed five classes in the Primary School yesterday. Today I observed six classes in the Kindergarten and got a chance to start bonding with my future students. It looks like I’ll be observing more Kindergarten classes on Thursday and Friday too. Starting on Monday, I’ll be teaching a total of 22 Kindergarten classes and 8 Primary School classes per week. Each Kindergarten class lasts a half hour and each Primary School class lasts forty minutes. That means that I’ll teach for a total of 3 hours or 3 hours and 20 minutes Monday through Friday. The rest of the working hours are spent in the English office where I can plan future lessons, grade workbooks, make teaching props, and do virtually anything else I desire.
The kids in the Kindergarten are little angels and utterly charming. One of the bigger boys named Felix gave me a kiss on the cheek after class was over. A Chinese teacher told me that he is very naughty. At six years old, naughty isn’t bad at all. One of the smaller boys, a new student, gave me a very long hug and called me Mama. I said, “definitely not.”
The kids in the Primary School are little devils. That’s all I have to say about that. We’ll see how they are when I start teaching.
For lunch, I went to the business street with the other teachers again. We went to the same noodle shop as before and I learned how to eat noodles with chopsticks. The trick is to put your face no further than three inches from the dish, shove the noodle in your mouth before they slip, and slurp until you get to the end of the line. This is how everyone eats noodles in Foshan, so Mom, you don’t need to be ashamed of my poor eating manners! I noticed that the restaurant staff put a box of tissues at our table when we arrived. Special treatment for the Westerners. That or they anticipated the mess we would create with the noodles.
Remember Little Boss? Here she is: