September 13, 2010
First Days Back: Teaching
The semester began on Monday and I survived. I should say, I thrived! Since I'm teaching the Sophomore Speaking classes for English major students I already know every student in class. It was absolutely awesome to walk into the classroom full of familiar faces and names I already knew. I can continue building relationships with many of the same students. Before classes started, we'd meet former students as we walked. We'd chat for a while as we walked to catch up and ask how they're summers went or what new classes they're taking this semester.
Making the transition back into the classroom is the use of a textbook (and curriculum established by a veteran teacher). In previous years, all classroom material was compiled (much like hodgepodge) from different resources to make the course. This year, we're going to use a textbook to keep comfort the students with a set of tasks and allow them to learn outside of class.
Beginning today I'll teach 2 speaking classes to a brand new bunch of freshmen students. Freshmen college students throughout China participate in military training (mostly marching and following orders) for the first 3-4 weeks of their freshmen year. As I'm typing this I can hear music and marching orders outside my window as freshmen students fill the soccer stadium for a closing ceremony of sorts.
For the freshmen classes, I've always began the semester be choosing English names. I provide a list of names and the students then choose their favorite name. As always, I'm sure there will be some extraordinary names chosen (names not on the list).
I'm really looking forward to this semester and will keep you up-to-date on any classroom happenings.