Thursday, 14 February 2008

One week to go..............

Things have been moving very quickly. I do have more information about the place I am going to, including the College. I still don't have my Visa, nor my tickets, and I won't collect them until the day before I go.

Yesterday in amongst all the things I have to do I sprained my ankle too. I didn't think it too bad when I first did it but over the next few hours it got worse, so I ended up at the doctor. I'd iced it, and taken analgaesics, but it was very difficult to walk. The doctor strapped it and gave me a note to get it xrayed today if necessary, but luckily it seems to be improving already - just 24 hours later than when I did it.

I had made contact with someone who had recently returned from the college at Shaoxing, and she gave me some of the information I had been seeking, which was good. And yesterday I went to the Australian college for a session on "Cultural Awareness" which was interesting, and I met the two guys I will be travelling with. One of them had returned last year from working at the college, and the other is new to teaching English, just like me.

I can't imagine what the school will be like really - oh, I've seen photos, but it is hard to contemplate the logistics of a school of 9,000 students who board at the school. It has 4 canteens - so we can choose which ones we go to to eat at.

The toilet (bathroom facilities) sound like they will be an interesting experience - even in the teacher's quarters. I'm not looking forward to that!

The students are around the 18 t0 22 years of age mark, and their English is pretty good, although they only use it in the class. As well they learn other languages so it must be hard for them.

From a teaching prospective the facilities are poor. Blackboard and chalk. For one that is used to using videos, computer, data projector it will be a challenge. As well there are no printing or photocopying facilities, so one has to be creative. Especially with so many adult students in a class.

And I won't know until I get there, what I will be teaching! Of course the most important part is the teaching English, but I believe I will also be teaching History, and Meeting Procedure subjects. Mmmm.

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