Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Can I keep them?

While some of our fellow teachers across China are STILL waiting for school to start, we are halfway done with our 2nd week of teaching. We started school on Saturday (yes, Saturday) September 1st and taught through the weekend all the way to the next Friday. It was a LONG week, but a great first week. I'm happy to say it went so much better than I expected!! I have 4 classes of 2nd graders and they are all absolutely adorable. The first day of class they all made name cards and I took pictures of them in hopes of memorizing all of their names.... that's still a work in progress. There are 102 of them all together and that's a lot of names. Most of them are pretty normal, but I do have a few funny ones- like Tiger, Rainbow and Young. There are some kids who, as my Chinese co-teachers say, are "maybe a little naughty," but those seem to be some of my favorites. :) One of my absolute favorite things is to see them outside of class, either walking down the hall or eating lunch, because they get SO excited and starting waving and hollering, "Hello Miss Rachel! Hello Miss Rachel!" It just makes my heart happy. :)
For some of the kids these first few weeks have been kind of hard, especially the new students. They are boarding students so they're dropped off on Sunday night and picked up on Friday afternoon. Lacey (my team mate) has one little boy that has cried uncontrollably in a few of her lessons. It didn't help that his birthday was the first week of school! My sweet little Rainbow was also crying in class the other day, and last night I went over to say hey to some of my students playing on the play ground and one of them was crying. This breaks our hearts! They are so young to be away from their parents and we understand because we miss our parents too. :(
I have two Chinese co-teachers that sit in lessons with me and mostly help with class management. They also give me suggestions about what works with the kids and ideas for lesson planning. Some of my team mates have SUPER involved co-teachers, but mine are pretty hands off. We get along well but so far there hasn't been a whole lot of conversation with them. All of the teachers are pretty busy (and overwhelmed) with school just starting so I'm hoping as things calm down this will change!
This past weekend we went over to another teacher's apartment at a local University and were introduced to "Waffle Night." Every Sunday night several foreign teachers get together and make waffles and invite students over to hang out. It's been going on for several years and we've been invited to come whenever we can. Most of the students at this university are grad students, so I'm excited about an opportunity to meet and hang out with some people closer to my age!
Well, that's a little of what's going on in my life... thanks for all your thoughts and support!
Love and miss you all!

Here are a few of my sweet childrens!

This is Jim. He's kind of all over the place, but look at that smile!!

Harry. :) He is very good at English and a precious little boy.

Tracy gives me hugs EVERY day. It's hard to get away sometimes!

This is Irene. She is very smart and quiet.

Cute little Melissa :)

BOB. One of my favorites, and very naughty. :)

This is Rainbow. She's a stylin little girl!


And Charley! Adorable.