It has officially been two weeks since I have started teaching with my school. This week makes it week three of teaching. The transition is still happening, getting use to and learning what I need to do. I have enjoyed teaching my classes so far but it is also challenging. There are two classes that I have taken over from previous teachers; the students are use to their way of doing things. My third class is new so I have a fresh start with them this semester, which is great.
I teach three classes which they call yo-yo and treehouse. My yo-yo class consists of students between ages 2-3, pretty much like a daycare. I spend about 2 hours exposing them to English whether they understand me or not. They know how to repeat and recognize flashcards. I have been able to have a short conversation with one student so far in English which is good. It shows how comfortable the student is in speaking English. What is most challenging right now is telling the students that I don’t speak Chinese. I don’t know if they understand that I am American.
The one kid who I converse with started out with always speaking Chinese to me. I would tell him that I don’t speak Chinese. Here’s how our conversation went for a while:
S: speaks Chinese.
Me: I don’t speak Chinese. English only.
S: speaks more Chinese.
Me: I don’t understand what you are saying.
S: Yeah, I’m Daniel.
This was my conversation pattern with him for about a week. We are now talking about favorite colors, toys and he asks me what I’m doing.
My other two classes are the same level, treehouse 4. They are 2nd-3rd graders, I teach these classes back to back. It is easier to teach them but the learning curb is different between the two classes. The first class consist more of the advance kids while the second class has more students who are average. For awhile my second class thought that I was Chinese so I had to tell them that I am American. I think some of them are still baffled as to why I still don’t speak Chinese even though I’m American. I believe the biggest thing that is throwing them off is that I look like them.
In each of my classes I have a Chinese teacher with me. My yo-yo class the Chinese teacher will explain the instructions in Chinese after I have said them in English. She will also speak Chinese as need to discipline the students as well. In my treehouse classes, only one of my Chinese teachers frequent Chinese in the class. She speaks it to them when she needs to explain something to them when majority of the class misses an answer. Otherwise in both of my classes if they speak Chinese they have to write the English translation 10 times.
So far I have learned that I rather play with them then teach them English.