On Tuesday had my first lessons as a TEFL teacher. Dead Poets Society it was not. But on the whole they went well and certainly a lot better than I expected. My first class was a small one, with maybe 10 students around 12 years old. After overcoming their excitement at being taught by a foreigner, they were reasonably well behaved and we were able to go through the pronunciation of some words they had been struggling with before learning some simple sentences they could use in English. My second class, of 14-15 year olds, was more advanced and was in front of my boss. After a spectacular fail on grammar (did we ever learn the past perfect?!) I settled into the class and got them talking about music and the environment, both topics they had been learning about recently. My star pupil was a girl named Lisa, who helped me take the register and always had something to say about each topic (something about the name perhaps?). At the end I was told I had a knack for teaching, which nursed my competitive ego somewhat.
During the day I was also given my residence permit, which adds to the long line of documents the Chinese government holds on me (medical check, work permit, numerous copies of passport, residence permit, teaching contract). I now carry a folder full of passport photos (multiple sizes of course) and duly hand one over every time a document is required of me (about 1 a day). If I ever need to know anything about myself in the future, I know where to come.
The last 48hrs have been spent wallowing in self-pity, after falling ill again. Maybe I should have accepted the ginger and cola. After some very strange dreams about China and a lot of Gatorade (american sports drink) I am starting to feel better. Lucky, because I was told today that I will be climbing a mountain tomorrow. FML (amy: don’t tell mum what this means).