Well, I survived my first day in the classroom yesterday helping out teaching the kids english. The classes are large, around 45 children in each but they were so well behaved and polite, they were like little soldiers. I will have them all speaking with an aussie accent in no time as the english teacher sounded just like me by the end of the day.
The main thing the teachers want the students to do is practice speaking english as they never get that opportunity so we each introduced ourselves and then had question time. They would ask me a question and I would ask them a question so each person got the chance to have a little conversation and we learnt a bit about each other. Some of the children were so shy I thought they were going to burst out crying and felt so sorry for them.
One question was, "What is your favourite food?" I said, "My favourite food is fish and I also love chocolate, what is your favourite food?" and the little girl answered, "My favourite food is kitten". I said, "Oh truly?" and tried to pretend that it was normal to love eating kittens but then the teacher blushed, spoke to the little girl in chinese and assured me she means chicken, not kitten. I was very glad to hear that.
In one of the classes the teacher asked if I would give all of his students an english name. What an honour that was but I do wish I was more prepared with a list of names as I had to think of them off the top of my head. After meeting the child I tried to give them a name that was easy for them to pronounce and that I thought would suit them. It was wonderful to use some of those baby names I had chosen and never got to use. Now there are chinese kids running around with great names like Travis, Lawson, Sunny, Kitty etc. Each child said they were so happy with their new names and loved them very much. The students then huddled together and came up with the chinese name of
Rui han for me which I was told means beautiful snow. We then spent time re-introducing ourselves with our new names and the students were so happy and proud but I must admit I need a bit more practice pronouncing my new name. and learning how to write it.