Yes… its true.. I have crossed over .. as the kids say…. into the real world of Academics. Let me explain. In China they believe that anyone that is a native speaker will be a good ESL teacher. Which for a fact is not true. However, they have this kind of mindset, therefore, when you teach English at a language school you can run into all kinds of people who are “teaching English” but really do not know what they are doing. After being in that atmosphere for so long, I was pleasantly surprised to see my new position at Zhejiang Strong International Training College was the direct opposite.
These people are professionals that are serious about their classes and students. Our school has two departments the Language department, which is like the school I just left and the Foundation department. I work in the Foundation department.
What we do is basically teach those students that will go abroad to UK, USA or Australia their first year of college. We have AP classes…. where they learn, statistics, calculus, economics, Intro to business, Advanced writing, cultural studies, etc.
The way they have it set up .. is that the Teachers from United Kingdom teach the students that will go there and the American teachers teach the students that will go to America. However, it seems that the Americans are taking over…. so … I am one of the teachers that teach both UK and American bound students. (because I got skills…..)
I have about 4 to 6 classes a day and some of them are the same class just repeated with a different group of kids. (18 to 21 year olds). It is quit a challenge. I have to give assignments, weekly exams, and check the homework, prepare the classes, write monthly reports and teach. When you are the Business teacher and the writing teacher… that is a lot of reading to do.
I am also one of the main teachers to teach SATs… grammar and vocabulary…. another fellow American teaches reading and writing and…. yet another teaches Math. So, i have a lot of grammar that i have to refresh my mind on.
The school campus is rather large… since the students stay in the dorms on campus… they have all the same facilities as an US college campus would have. Using all books from America and the UK… everything is taught in the western way. We follow the books but we have the freedom to make it as creative and as interesting as we want.
I love it…. I can speak to them normally and make them do group activities…. and even throw in some academic games. I have about 15 to 20 students in each of my classes. This is a privately run school that makes a ton of money I am told. I feel I am a very good fit and the students love me.
I have one AP class that is all boys.. and they are considered the “troublemakers” but … with a firm hand.. Mama Jo.. had their arses in line and doing home work. Yeah, that’s right.. I don’t play. They actually like me because I tease them and joke with them…. so they listen.
I have to admit.. I was a little nervous at first… since this is actually a professor position not just teaching little kids how to speak english…. I need to actually teach them so they can get the credit for University a little pressure…. but you know what….. I like it.
until next time….
- what would you do if you wera a teacher ? (arwamk8.wordpress.com)
- Teaching Abroad: What knowledge do you have to share? (flipkey.com)
- Are you ready for a challenge? (tesolteachersnet.com)