Yes — in less than 48 hours, I’ll be on a plane to Beijing. Is this the real life??
I’ve had a few brief weeks of summer vacation, mainly taken up with preparing for and performing in my choir’s summer show, and it’s finally become very real that I’ll be heading off on the Trip soon. I’m still nervous, but mainly about the teaching aspect; traveling has always been enjoyable to me, and I trust that everything will run smoothly with the assistance of the CCEC team.
The last few days have been taken up with packing (SO. MANY. CLOTHES.) and trying — often in vain — to compose my lesson plans. The ESL camp that I’ll start with in Shijiazhuang is 9 days long with each day consisting of five 40 minute lessons. As a teacher who usually teaches the same (or similar) subjects repeatedly throughout any given day with five different groups of students, this is going to be a significant change for me. Also, the fact that these will be middle school-aged children has me more than a little wary. However, I readily acknowledge that the Chinese school systems are quite different than our American construct, and I don’t anticipate behavior problems. Language issues? Well, obviously.
My contact with CCEC encouraged me to bring little gifts for the students, some small tokens from the U.S. that they can keep after the camp is over. With her approval, I made bookmarks for both the children and the adults that I’ll be working with in a professional development capacity later on in the month. They aren’t much, but they’re handmade, and I hope that they’ll meet with approval.
Aside from some last-minute packing of toiletries and personal items, I’m pretty much ready to go. In fact, my next post just might be from China!