Alive & Well in China

Sorry I’ve been so MIA. I’m in China, alive and well. I’ve considered and had a few opportunities to write on my blog, but have chosen naps and exploring over writing! It’s crazy how much you forget when you don’t record things, though. 

It’s hard to believe that I’ve almost been here a month! Time has flown by quickly, but that doesn’t mean some days don’t feel like an eternity. Especially the days when I’m not as prepared for my lesson and/or the kids are super hyped up and don’t want to sit still. The libber days are usually a combination of both of those things. 

I’ll admit, the first week of teaching was HARD. I’m not totally sure how I was expecting the kids to behave, but they’re kids! They’re not all going to behave and pay attention on their own. Enforcing the rules and being gentle, yet stern has been harder for me than I thought it would be. I’ve never been in this kind of situation before, and I didn’t realize until now the important qualities a teacher needs to have. 

The craziness has luckily died down a bit over time and I feel like I’m really starting to get to know each of my kids individually (which is saying something, since there’s around 40 students). As I’ve gotten to know them it’s become easier to understand them and why they might act out or be disrespectful. 

That being said, I still have moments every day where I question myself and doubt my abilities. I know that improvement on my part will take time and effort and that a perfect class room isn’t possible. That’s been the most freeing concept- recognizing that nothing will ever go exactly as planned, so you just do you best and make sure you’re as prepared as you can be. Take everything in stride. 

Sorry for the short post… I’m getting ready to start laundry and hope to share more detailed experiences and funny stories later! In the meantime, here are some pictures of my adventures so far.

   
Love the flowers here! Cannot wait for spring to come so there will be even more variety.

  

Peacock within our school grounds! Finally got a picture of it… There are about four others too.
That Volxwaggon above isn’t driving… People just park there cars in the middle of the road here. Not even joking! Craziness.  
 Nanjing Road in Shanghai! So busy and beautiful at night.

 
This is an older part of Changzhou. I was taken here by a bunch of my fifth graders and their parents a few Saturday’s ago. They’re called “home stays,” where a pair of two ILP teachers or more go with a child (or group of children) that they teach and get treated by the family! We also went boating, played laser tag in the forest, and were stuffed from delicious Korean bbq food… Which included squid and whole fish. Was a great experience and I’m excited for the next home stay two weeks from now 

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