As a future elementary school teacher, junior high scares me. I would never want to teach there in America…I don’t have the patience, or the knowledge in one specialized area to be successful. And plus, junior high in America is everyone’s awkward, moody, first relationship phase…which I want no part in. So, I figured junior high in Taiwan would be similar….but boy was I wrong. I liked it more than elementary school!!!!
I started my day at Su-Ao with my other LET Sonia. But, because I knew I was going to junior high after, I rode my bike to the station. I actually enjoyed it a lot…and I could leave my house later! Anyway, with Sonia, I will coteach 3rd and 4th grade. Since she is not a full time teacher here, we go to each 3rd and 4th grade room as opposed to the students coming to the English classroom. I thought 6th grade had been fun…until I saw 3rd grade. They were SO cute!!! They sat all class just smiling and waving at me. I would look at Sonia and they would start whispering, “Teacher….teacher…teacherrrrr” until I looked over and then they would start waving furiously and whisper, “Hi!” They are so precious! We did introductions of ourselves to all three classes and Sonia would ask them questions to make sure they understood. To my surprise, they really did understand me most of the time. We were told they would know very little English, and my 6th graders struggled to understand my introduction so I was pleasantly surprised when these little guys got it! I got to give a few of them English names because they didn’t have one (or forgot one that they were given) so I now have a Kurt and a Melody in my classes (:
The principal called me into his office and said he would like to talk to me for 10 minutes or so a few times a week to improve his English! I could not be more excited. So, without a translator we spent our break talking. He even taught me some calligraphy! His is stunning…mine looked like the wrong characters but it’s a work in progress. So hopefully I can help to improve his English and he can teach me some Chinese words!!! I’m so excited to spend this time with him and become a bigger part of this wonderful school.
Before lunch, I walked back to Su-Ao station and made my way back to Luodong. I picked up my bike and rode to my first day at Dong-Guang Junior High School. Charlene (my LET) showed me that I have my own desk there! So official. I taught two classes of 7th and 8th graders. In the first class, I just introduced myself and they asked me some questions. That class period is shorter so there wasn’t time for much else. I like that they can ask me interesting questions, where my elementary school students don’t have the ability for that yet. The next class was my favorite! It was Charlene’s English class. Her students were so outgoing and wonderful. They had so much to say about my introduction and questions to ask. Then, they all introduced themselves to me and told me what they liked. I even had two students sing for me! I pretty much just got to chat with them for 45 minutes and it was awesome. That’s them below!! (:
One girl even carved me a pomelo for the Moon Festival! Pomelos are a fruit associated with the moon festival and she is really good at art, so she carved it and gave it to me! I had a blast!! I wish I could go more than every other week!! In the afternoon, I didn’t have my third class that I will normally have, but instead met with the other English teachers to talk about what each one wants. I originally thought I could teach the same lesson three times, but it’s looking like I will need a different lesson for each class. Anyway, I saw Yuan-Chi (the man who gave me the bike and invited me over for the best dinner ever) again and he invited me to dinner again! He is so nice!! I saw his wife and kids for a few minutes too!! I now have LINE (an instant messaging service that is used in Asia) and have been messaging with Yuan-Chi and my principal from Su-Ao! It’s great!! I also met a teacher from Dong-Guang who is a paragliding instructor and he said he would teach me to paraglide this month!!! So excited!!!!!!!!
To end my perfect day, Lakyn and I went to a new Thai restaurant right near our house and it was so delicious. I got vegetarian pad thai…yum!!! Also, Lakyn and I found a gym on our way home that we are going to look at tomorrow….have to even out all this eating somehow!