Thursday, September 3, 2009

First Week in the Classroom

Chinese word of the day: 教室 jiao shi (classroom).

I finally made it into the classroom!  I had been really looking forward to meeting my students, and so far they have proved just as delightful as I expected them to be.  Here are a few of them in their own words, taken from writing samples from writing class:

On themselves: 

"I am a careful boy, so careful that I can't believe it."

"I like chatting with others, and I am very active.  Sports are my most favorite hobbies.  I like playing basketball, badminton, and table tennis.  I like the sentence 'No pains, no gains' very much.  It encourages me when I was in trouble.  I think I will be successful in the future."

"My personality has been changed a lot since I came into the university.  It is a great change for me from a shy girl to a girl who fears no failure."

On their future goals:

"My dream is to become an interpreter in the future.  I know it won't be easy to achieve this dream, because to become an interpreter one should have a very good pronunciation, a very wide range of knowledge and also diligence and persistence."

"I want to be an English teacher in a junior high school.  I admire the teachers who can be the friend of their students, so I want to be one of them.  I don't need a very high salary, as long as I can support the basic need of my family.  I'll marry a man who loves me most, and we'll live with our parents.  We'll go to visit the grandparents once a week, and take them to travel with us once a year."

"I hope to live an exciting life.  Maybe I will own a small shop."

On the life of a college student in China:

"In China, entering a college, at first, means you have finished the hard times in high school.  We don't need to have such pressures any more."

"We are busy studying every day... To get up early and have no time for eating.  To have classes all morning and then have our lunch.  After a noon break we have classes in the afternoon.  Doing some sports and reading then and preparing for next class.  Campus life is simple and happy.  You can get away from the terrible society.  But I often feel boring and tired of it."

"Our college life is colorful to some extent. We don't need to concentrate on our school work all day and we have enough free time to do our favorite things, such as reading novels, watching movies.  The most common thing we do in college is to do a part-time job... So we can say our college life consists of study and work.  Monday to Friday are our study days and weekends are our work days.  I love it!"

Aren't they great?  Those are all from juniors.  This week, I taught two sections of junior video and a section of junior writing.  (I have another one tomorrow.)  Eventually I will also have two sections of freshman oral English, but that won't start for a few weeks since they are doing required military training.  

We have a team meeting in a few minutes.  I'll try to update more later!


  1. Your students sound very fun! I'm sure you will have a wonderful time with them. You'll be such a wonderful teacher, Alison!

  2. Wonderful insite into the cultural background of your students. Your willingness to "give back" when we have so much to be thankful for is inspiring--proud of you!

  3. Oh, Alison. This makes me miss our Chinese friends back in Iowa! I am so thankful that you are in China to love on these wonderful people!