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            Teaching at Linyi No. 1 Middle School

            [日期:2019-01-26] 来源:  作者: [字体: ]

            I will never forget my first day of teaching class at Linyi No. 1 Middle School. I was so excited but scared at the same time. Not knowing how the students would respond or if they would even understand anything I say.

            Standing in front of the class and introducing myself as the new English teacher while the students stare at me with wonder in their eyes. I started with telling the students a bit about myself and where I am from, I told them about my country and what I expected from them in my class. And then silence, no response, except for whispers coming amongst each other. I thought this was it, no one understands me, how am I going to communicate.

            Then I asked if they had any questions, all of a sudden their faces lit up and the class came alive. They wanted to know everything, from how many pets I have to why I chose to work in China. And the more I answered their questions, the more they asked, until the bell rang that indicated the end of the period.

            And that was when I realized the first difference between schools in my country and Chinese schools. I stood in front of the class waiting for them to pick up their books and move to the next class, because in South Africa the students change classes each period and the teachers stay in the same class. So I was waiting for the students to leave and they sat waiting for me to leave, after an awkward two minutes the students started laughing and informed me that I need to go now because their next class is starting.

            After teaching a year in China I found some differences between schools in South Africa and China for example, because the students stay in one class every one becomes friends, no one is left out. If you ask a student who is their best friend the answer usually stays the same, it is too difficult to choose only one friend they have at least three best friends.

            But one thing stays the same, no matter where you go, teenagers will always be teenagers. They fall in love, they love playing video games, they love watching movies and listening to music, sometimes they just don't want to work and would try anything to get out of doing their homework, they care about their friends and what is fashionable to wear.

            You can take the country out of the teenager, but you will never be able to take the teenager out of the country. 

            By Clifford van Schalkwyk

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