Thursday, October 27, 2011

Some kids are just too cute!

This week, it was so funny. The children were very aware of the camera and where it was in the room. Even if it was the middle of class, they would pose or give me the happy sign, saying "yeah!" just so I would take their picture. So, here are a few random candids.

(Where are you looking? The teachers are over here.)


"Wait, I can't see over. I'm too short!"

"Here's to you, teacher."

"It's late. Can't I sleep... zzzz." (No, this is not my class!)

"Lou Shr, ni (turn)" (Teacher, it's your turn.)

"Far, far away. Can you see?"

"Let me see!"

"I'm paying attention, really!"

A Day at CEI: Tuesday

My alarm goes off at 6:30. I have the morning class. After reading my Bible and getting ready for the day, I run upstairs to the classroom. Entering the classroom, I notice it is stuffy,  so I open the doors and windows and turn on the fans. Then I write the week’s rules on the board. “Look at the teacher.” “Listen to the teacher.” Etc. Convinced that the room is ready, I grab a bite to eat and spend the next 15 minutes praying for the day, kids, and teachers.

About ten to 8, the children begin trickling upstairs from breakfast. They brush their teeth and pull out their workbooks to finish work from yesterday. (Such good kids if I may say so myself!) They are full of questions and comments for the teacher, most of which, sadly enough, I cannot understand. However, a loving heart transcends verbal communication. These kids know they are loved. 

The bell rings promptly at 8, and class begins with “good morning students!” When they look at me with blank stares, I realize that the material I have will be way over their heads.  They don’t even understand good morning, afternoon, evening and night.  Unfortunately, at this point, I feel stuck as I have nothing else planned. To their credit, the children were very attentive even though they did not understand most of class. (They loved the game, as it involved throwing a ball at the blackboard!)

During break time, the kids try to get all the teachers to play a game with them. It is really rather funny how they want ALL the teachers involved. In the States, it’s usually the counselors at camp trying to get all of the campers involved. Ah well. When I get home, I should be able to write an orchestration to the little tune that plays at beginning of class and end of class. I’ve heard it so much.

After class, the other teachers were very helpful in giving me hints for the class next time, refining my teaching skills. I appreciate them, because sometimes it is overwhelming to watch kids’ behavior, responses, and retention, and still teach. Next time I know I will do better.

The next class I have is the morning class tomorrow at 8. I am supposed to teach emotions. However, these kids are not ready for sentence structure yet.  They need simple, basic, easy English. (Not really my strong-suit.)  So, with prayers to the Master Teacher about every 15 minutes, I begin working on the power-point for emotions. “Happy, sad, angry, sick, fine…” I had to stop and ask for a smaller word than “embarrassed.”  That emotion is very relevant to these kids, but it’s too big of a word. We opt for “shy.” 

Every forty minutes the bell rings, and the morning goes faster than you’d think. Lunch time comes, and I go downstairs to the auditorium to help serve. As the kids are served, they must thank each teacher before moving on.  These kids have a hard time with thanking the teacher in English. Many times, they would get to me and look at me with a “help!” look in their eyes. I would gently remind them “Thank you teacher” and then I would answer with a smile, “you’re welcome.”
Since I already posted about food, I won’t expound on lunch. Finishing up, the children take their dishes out to wash them. One of the kids told me it was fun “cool” to wash dishes all by themselves like that, reminding me just how little the Taiwanese cook and eat at home.

Usually I take nap time off, but today I am determined to have a power point ready for tomorrow morning that the 4th graders can understand.  I decided it would be to my benefit to teach colors before teaching emotions, and review the colors with the emotions “sad, blue face” etc.  This takes several hours, because there is no ppt for colors in the database and I have to make one from scratch.

There are two more English classes in the afternoon; 3:10 and 4:10. Jo taught the students a song in the 3:10 class. It is one I’ve never heard, so I’m learning at the same time. The kids like the song and sing really loudly. Jo also played hangman with the children.  Chinese doesn’t really work for hangman, so it is a new game to them, and they love it! 

The second class at 4:10, Sanna’s class, she teaches a story called The Hungry Caterpillar. It is about the life of a caterpillar. On Monday he eats one apple, on Tuesday, he eats two pears, and so forth. On Saturday he eats too much and gets sick. This is our in-road to teach character. “We need to show self-control and not eat too much. You can make right choices.”

By the time class is over, it is nearly dinner time. I run to the breakfast stand and get dinner for Sanna and I, and I also grab a few other groceries.  They make amazing dumplings and hash browns at the breakfast stand. One of my favorites is something that looks like a pancake, but has egg, cucumber, onion, and a few other things inside it.  I need some paper and a few other things for class tomorrow, so I also go to the stationary store to get that.

When I get back, I quick scarf dinner, and go to work on the teaching tools I need for tomorrow.  I ouline the names of the colors on large index cards and fill them in the appropriate color. I also prepare paper crayons to “color” a picture in class. While I am working, Jo and I chat a little bit.

At 9:30 I am finished working. I head downstairs to the apartment and get ready for bed. Since Sanna has already gone to bed, I read in the bathroom light. I am so tired, I left my Bible on the counter and went to bed.  Thank you Lord for today.  Tomorrow is another long day.

~Teacher Bob

Tuesday, October 25, 2011