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Teaching In Zhengzhou 2
Editor's note: Michael, an experienced foreign teacher, is sharing his lively teaching experience here, not only for how to teach English--the language itself, but also for the positive and trusty attitude towards students and their great potential.
His words reflect the important factor in teaching---The Students.
Teaching In Zhengzhou 2
I had a full day of classes yesterday. I taught 5 classes. High school students and third and fourth graders at a Zhengzhou University affiliated school. The third grade class was so unruly that I sat there and wondered what I was doing here. Students coming in late. Talking to my assistant. My assistant talking to them. I had one of my 'moments'.
However, things changed quickly when the students astounded me with how cooperative they can be when I demanded their attention and more importantly, how smart these students are. One little third grader, Linda, is so intelligent its almost a bit creepy. I was teaching the English words for measuring time, i.e. seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades. All of these were part of curriculum. They learned those so fast that I went on to teach the word century and millennium. They 'got it'. There's another story there that I'll have to tell another time.
I came back to Zhengzhou University last night to teach two more classes at the International High School. I finished those classes by 8 p.m. Both classes went extremely well.Then, I was to meet with the parents of one of the high school students. Actually, I thought I was only meeting with the student's mother.
Much to my surprise (and great pleasure), the father showed up. I had suggested the meeting out of concern for their son. Though I've seen a lot of improvement in his English language skills, there's something that just isn't connecting for this student.His father owns two advertising companies in China. One here and another in Shanghai. I like dealing with a businessman. They are usually 'bottom line' type people. They don't need to exhibit what I've learned the Chinese call 'talking skills'. He was to the point. So was I. Namely, 'how can we help your son?'
The night ended up with us going to dinner. Me, the director of our program, my classroom assistant, the student's father and mother. What I learned from them was, this student's interest in English has skyrocketed. The parents are amazed and want to know how we can transfer this same enthusiasm that he now has for English into his other subjects.The father told me (through my assistant's translation) that I am to treat his son as if he is my son. He said that he feels that I have earned the right to have any say I want over his son. He said that he didn't understand what 'magic' I had performed with his son, but he wants more of it.
I hear a lot of moaning and complaining from a lot of foreign and domestic teachers here. I hear a lot of talk about how terrible their students are.I will say, living and teaching in China is not a walk in the park. No 'piece of cake.' It can be difficult and frustrating at times. The pay is pathetic by American standards. The lack of interest and indifference of administrators, principals and even other teachers towards foreign teacher's efforts can also be quite discouraging. And there's many other aspects of living and teaching here that are less than desirable.
However, WE (foreign teachers) can make a difference. We can get the satisfaction of teaching here if we can only see the positive difference we are making in our students' lives. I see amazing things living here every day. I don't mean to oversimplify or mystify but, I can honestly say that I see little miracles here, every day. I don't have time to write about them all. I wished I did.
If you are a foreign teacher here, I want to encourage you. Start looking for and expecting amazing things to happen in your classroom. Hopefully, you came here for the children. I know I did. I didn't need or even want 'a job.' I had plenty of jobs to do in America. I came here to live out my own personal purpose in life. That is, to make a difference. Even in one student's life. Let your passion be renewed. Look for inspiration. Expect the best of your students. And, I know, you won't be disappointed.Your teaching here will become more meaningful and you will sleep well every night knowing that you have an opportunity to touch lives like maybe you never could anywhere else.
Michael Murphy - - Mo Wen-Long
9 01, 16 11:07
posted by: Nagaraja Sarma
That's really great. Creating interest in students to such a level is really remarkable. I am also a teacher, I would like to relocate myself in China. Any help?!..