Timetable and food

I realise I haven’t posted anything for a while now…. I’ve been busy. But I thought I would give a little idea about my timetable and what I have to do, how much I prepare etc.

In China, classes run from 8am to 4.15pm, and then later for some students. The canteen is open from 6.45am to 8.10am, and then from 11.15 to 1.05pm and then from 5.15 to 6.30. It is open every day, including weekends, but the times at weekend may vary. I have a canteen card, and food is very cheap. A full meal – with rice – is usually about the equivalent of a pound. They have some Western food like pasta, too, as well as Chinese food. Often I don’t know exactly what I am eating, I just point and say “zhe ge” or ‘this one’ and then ‘mifan’ which means rice. Breakfast consists of dumplings (jiaozi), cake (they eat it like we eat bread; it is usually sponge cake and very nice), and some rice porridge/rice gruel-type thing. This is basically rice in water or something like water. Also they have big nan-bread looking things which I sometimes get. The porridge, despite it being made largely of water, is surprisingly filling. There is no cereal unless you want to buy some yourself from the import section at the supermarket.

My busiest days are Monday, Tuesday and Friday. I start at 8am on Monday and Tuesday, and finish at 4.15 on a Friday. On a Thursday, I have one lesson, at 8.50 to 9.30 and then I am free all day. In terms of lesson planning, for the Junior 2 classes we have divided up topics between the different teachers and so we are only planning two topics from scratch ourselves. We then circulate the slides and lesson plan we have done and others adapt/modify it as they wish. I planned the first two lessons, on food; and hobbies and interests. We have done Halloween all week and next class is on animals, I think.

My EDP 9 classes are equivalent to Senior 1, so they have essentially the same lessons. We decided a rough theme for these from other teachers – teaching British pronunciation – and what our lessons will be about – and then create them ourselves. At the moment, I have my classes preparing a short scene which they have to act out in front of the class. I will not be teaching EDP 9 after the winter holidays. I don’t know whether I just will not teach any more classes, or whether I will pick up a couple to make up for it. EDP is like an advanced programme, so they are a year younger than Senior 1, but (in theory) they should be at the same level as them.

My timetable is below. The number in brackets is the class number at that level. E.g. Junior 2 has 16 classes. Junior 2 is aged 13-14; EDP 9 will be 14-15 (I think); and Senior 1 is 15-16. I should also say each lesson is 40 minutes.

8:00-8:40 EDP9 (4) Senior 1 (6)
8:50-9.30 EDP9 (3) Senior 1 (5)
10:05-10:45 Junior 2 (10)
10:55-11:35 Junior 2 (12) Junior 2 (13) Senior 1 (12)
11:45-12:25 Senior 1 (11)
1:50-2:30 Junior 2 (11) Senior 1 (7)
2:45-3:25 Junior 2 (16) Senior 1 (10) Senior 1 (8)
3:35-4:15 Senior 1 (9)

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