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Primary Teaching Jobs In China
Teaching at a Chinese primary school has actually undoubtedly been among the greatest culture shocks I've faced because of getting here in China. Prior to getting here, I had actually heard, read, and viewed a lot about the understanding of teachers in Chinese culture. They are kept in extreme reverence and regarded as the water fountain of all understanding, meaning that Chinese trainees are among a few of the most hardworking, disciplined, and considerate in the world.
I, therefore, came to China anticipating that class management would be the least of my worries. My expectations were confirmed at the training camp, where I taught a class of 20 perfectly behaved high school students. While aware that these students were high achievers with an interest in English, I could not see past their impeccable behavior. So, I headed to my city, Jinan, full of naïve optimism that my Grade 1 and 2 primary school trainees would be smaller-sized, equally well-behaved versions of my trainees in Beijing.
The Chinese School System
This intense school year comprises of roughly 38 weeks, which are divided into 2 semesters, lasting around 19 each. Aside from the prolonged summertime vacation, trainees only get a break when the remainder of the country provides for essential national holidays. There are no such luxuries as half-term breaks.
The majority of Chinese schools require students to study core subjects such as Chinese, Maths and Music from Grade 1. They generally begin their study of English in Grade 3. This makes my school uncommon; it's intending to end up being a specialised English school, so trainees begin finding out in Grade 1. Consequently, trainees start discovering a foreign language prior to they can even read their native one. The kids have a total of 5 English lessons a week; 4 with their Chinese English instructor and 1 with the foreign instructor. They are anticipated to discover to read and write fundamental English words, which are tested in regular examinations. As the foreign instructor of Grades 1 and 2, I have had rather a special experience mentor at a Chinese primary school.
Foreign Instructor Classes
In China, the concept of learning through games and activities is extremely foreign to both students and teachers. They for that reason tend to consider the 'fun' foreign teacher classes as less scholastic and less beneficial to their education. This, combined with the competitive, high-pressured school environment, implies my hectic Chinese mentor assistants typically do not reveal to my classes. I'm therefore often delegated to handle a class of over 50 six-year-olds with my elementary level Chinese.
It's during these classes that I get to see the side of the trainees the Chinese teachers do not. Since they aren't generally permitted to play, they struggle to distinguish between academic video games and playtime. As an immigrant, I do not have the power of control the Chinese teachers have, so it can be difficult to quiet down such a large class. Among the sound and enjoyment, I in some cases see students using my class as an opportunity to start their homework. Though annoying in the beginning, now I better comprehend their every day lives, I can value the trouble of learning in an unknown environment and focusing in a class considered lesser. For that reason, rather than letting such behaviour annoy me, I try to make my lessons as interesting as possible. I have actually found that by using the competitiveness of my students to my benefit and presenting reward systems, I can acquire more control.
Overtime the trainees have actually grown used to my technique of mentor and I've discovered how to manage them. Despite my classroom always being the loudest, I've found out to accept that my classes will never resemble a Chinese instructor's. Though mentor at a Chinese primary school is by no means simple, it's certainly gratifying. When I get in a class to huge smiles, cheers and hugs, I truly appreciate my position as the "enjoyable" teacher.