Monday, January 19, 2004

China Trip: Last day of classes

This was our very last day of teaching the junior high and elementary students. In my junior high class, I finally figured out that what my students needed was not somebody to teach them grammar or vocabulary, because they knew a lot of that, and they were going to have plenty more instruction from their highly trained teachers in the future. What they needed was someone who could get them talking, practicing the English they did know, and helping them to overcome the fear of opening their mouth. They were all extremely shy about speaking English. So in class, we rearranged the classroom, moving the desks off to the side, and putting the chairs in a circle. I had told them the day before to come with questions to ask me about America, so we just sat and talked and had a wonderful time. I sometimes brought out a picture to show them as I was answering a question, and passed it around the circle for them all to see.

We all had a very touching time of saying goodbye. All of us teachers waved goodbye to the students at the front gate, giving hugs to the students. A lot of them brought us paper and pens for us to sign our names and give our email addresses, and a lot more wanted to have their picture taken with us. It was hard to believe that we wouldn’t be seeing these students again!

Then in my elementary class, all the students were very sorry to see me go. I got a lot of gifts from my students. Susan kept giving me these little vitamin C candies. Anna and Susan each gave me a jade bead, which I strung on a string and wore around my neck. I also got a little teddy bear that played a chinese song when you pressed its tummy, more candy, including chocolate (a rare luxury), another stuffed animal, a ball, and a bunch of little odds and ends. Anna and Susan seemed to be the most attached to me (or at least, they demonstrated it in the most visible way), and they kept coming back to get hug after hug with me. It was very hard to see them go.

That evening, we met a second time at Ming Tien, this time with many of the interpreters. Echo wasn’t there, but I had a really nice time talking with the others. I had gotten juice the first time, and I got ice cream this time. It was a lot of fun. I never played the piano, because I didn’t know any music from memory I was sure I could play. It was the last time that we would see some of the interpreters, although some would be back again to work with us for the second week.  

Next Post: Touring Suzhou
Previous Post: Snow
First Post: Pre-departure excitement

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for commenting! I love comments! You have just made my day! :-)