So we show up at EF head quarters to start our day of lesson planning with a couple of other teachers. We spent a few hours planning a lesson around having a class of at least 10 students banking on having discussions between students and a lot more student engagement. Unfortunately we ended up with just 2. One, Mark was super into the lesson and put fourth a lot of effort. The other, David, couldn’t care less. This made the activities we had planned difficult to conduct. In all my time teaching I’ve never had such a tense lesson. There were plenty of awkward silences and cringe worthy moments especially because our trainer, Jennifer sat in on us. It was difficult to understand David and it was apparent that he was getting frustrated with us. The activities we planned were too simple for the students we had. We finished our lesson 20 min early and this bitch Jennifer was like nuh uh you have 20 more minutes. WTF you want me to do?!?! Want do you expect me to pull out my ass that can last 20 min?!?! Fuck it! Their going to write me a short essay using the vocabulary we learned today. But guess what? Fucking David doesn’t follow the direction and any suggestions we made continued to frustrate him. The other teacher I was working with was trying to kill time by asking him a million questions that had nothing to do with the lesson any more, but if it wasn’t for that we would not have made the last 20 min. I want to dig a hole and fucking bury myself in it.
Following the BS micro lesson all of us teachers headed over to a bar on Nanjing Road called 3 Windows. It’s an American style dive bar and it’s fucking awesome. For just a brief moment you forget that you’re in Shanghai and you’re transported back to the states. The food isn’t all that great but you take what you can get out here. We sat around chatted and bitched about how shitty our training was and over the instructor.
After about an hour or so at the bar one of the teachers mentioned that there was a language exchange going on at a coffee shop just a few blocks over so we made our way to it. It was very fun and interesting to say the least. Interacting with actual Shanghainese was super cool and it opened a window into their life. We conversed with this woman named Helen and she was very interested in my relationship with Sydney and if there were any cultural clashes. When I explained to her that Americans do not have to honor and or respect their family’s wishes if they don’t want to she was pretty shocked. I was able to practice my mandarin with all the other locals. As I spoke in mandarin they spoke to me in English and we’d occasionally break to our native tongue in order to get our point across. It was an awesome experience and is definitely something that I’d like to try again.
Today started like any other, went downstairs to have some breakfast and hang out with some of the other teachers. It was nice to relax for a little bit then we all met up to head to the center for training. We were given instructions for about a half an hour and sent to our groups to work on our micro lesson. Well I am the only one at the online center so I was by myself at the computers. I only had about an hour and a half to prepare then we started, luckily my friend Karine was my student for the day so it made it a little easier. When we first started there were some technical difficulties and it took about 15 minutes to actually get set up. I taught my lesson and it was about gender differences between men and women. That is so hard to teach, also you could step on people’s toes. Even the instructor said that it was not the best lesson to teach and next time she won’t have someone try and teach it. My feedback was good and all I need to do is in the beginning ask a few more personal questions of my students, where are you from? How are you? etc. I observed one lesson then sat around for about 3 hours, it was so boring. After class we went to a bar and some some drinks and dinner with some of our other students teachers. It was fun and it was an American bar so it was nice to be home for a minute. One of the other teachers was going to a language lesson and some more of us tagged along. It was fun and we met some pretty cool people. Like Wally said Helen was very interested in the cultural differences between me and Wally since we are married. It was a really fun night and relaxing. Took a taxi back to the hotel and now on to another day. Thursday we will be separating and going to different schools. I am so nervous but after today it should be better.