September 11, 2009

Teaching, Tutoring and Transformers

Well I expected to be writing this post with a week of teaching under my belt, but instead I’m writing this post with a few extra pounds under my belt. I blame brownies and Coke… but that’s not the point of this post. With this past Monday being the first day I was supposed to teach I was surprised to hear from my boss that I would not be needed till next Monday. What I now suspect is that the school I’m supposed to be teaching in has been shut down for the week, because of H1N1. This is my guess because my boss told me, in Chinese, about my school situation, saying a lot that I didn’t understand and then saying H1N1 in the middle of it. So I will keep you posted.

In other news I will be tutoring a girl once a week for a couple hours. Which I started last Saturday and had a blast! It was fun to sit down with her (Lily) and help her with her English. I’m hoping to continue to do this a couple hours every Saturday morning for a while. It was funny when I sat down with her parents to talk with them about what they wanted me to teach and what not. It was funny because her mom at one point was telling me what she wanted me to teach her daughter and she said something I didn’t understand at all. I looked over at the daughter’s aunt who was helping with some translation stuff and she said “she wants you to teach her daughter the Transformers names”. Ummmm ok, I guess I can do that. So the next week when they came she hands me a 3 PAGE PRINTOUT! of every Transformer name ever created, imagined or made up. I’m studying the list and she better expect a test soon. That’s a joke.

So although I didn’t teach this week I did get to sit in on a class to get a feel for the flow and what not. It was a lot of fun to see what 60 eight to ten year olds are like. At one point I was sat next to a kid and I asked him in Chinese if he had an English name. His classmate was quick to inform me that he didn’t. The student however corrected him and told him he had one. I asked again and the student not wanting to share with his nosy classmate reached into his backpack and tore off a small piece of paper and scribbled something on it. He then proceeded to crumple it into a small ball and then handed it to me. I unwrapped the small note, anticipation was building with each passing second. I looked down to discover his name on the paper, “Shark”. Yep he gave himself the English name of Shark. I (also not wanting his nosy classmate to discover the truth) gently rolled the paper back into its original ball and slide the ball back to him as if to say “Shark, your secret is safe with me”. I guess I would say that the day was a giant success.

With Hope,
Matt, Heather, Sydney, Shark and little Aubrey