I made it thru my first day of teaching yesterday – 4 consecutive 40-minute sessions of introducing myself and answering their questions. I have a schedule that tells me where to teach and I’m getting used to it – school has multiple buildings so it’s not trivial to find your way around. The students are so lovely and so excited to meet me – standing ovation upon entering classroom, lots of questions for me about myself – my family, my hobbies, my favorite Chinese pop star (only one I know is Han Hong and that seems to satisfy them.) They wanted to know if I could speak any Chinese and I gave them a little, which seemed to delight them – also asked me to write the character for my Chinese name and they were very impressed that I could write it. Last time I taught in China, I remember feeling a little like a pop star but that effect is even greater here – probably because the kids haven’t met a foreigner and they are so happy to talk to me.

Many questions from the students were of the nature “What is your phone number” or “what is your MSN/chat name?” which I politely refused to answer. They all use the computer a lot, and I’m sure I’d have too many emails/chat requests to handle. I told them I will give them my email address next week at the end of their final class with me (I will move on to Grade 8 after next week) – and I created a special new email account to give them – then, if the amount of email is too much, I can ignore that account without losing any of my regular email. I’m hoping they will be satisfied if I send responses to many students at once.

OK, I’m still not quite adjusted to the time zone and trying hard to guard against getting sick – so I don’t have as much time as I would like to create movies, take videos etc. In fact, my video application doesn’t run on this netbook and I dont have access to a school computer that I can use – so I hope the short video file below will give you some idea of what it’s like here.

Video: Grade 7 Students Welcoming

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