Update from Yangzhou


Will started teaching this week. He has three classes: a grade 10 international class which he sees nine time per week and two grade 11 regular classes which he see twice a week.

The students in the international class are destined to study abroad; the students in the regular classes will likely continue with university, albeit locally. The former are the more enthusiastic students.

The school is known to use singing as a learning tool; Will was asked during his interview if he was comfortable singing. He admitted to a less than operatic voice but with little pride, at least in these matters, he was willing to accept the responsibility. Now, as it turns out, the singing is only for those student in the lower grades. Much to Will’s disappointment.

With the three classes, Will has about 10 hours of teaching, 5 hours of preparation and some free time. He has bought himself a pair of roller blades to get in / out of town and he is in training, preparing for the city marathon to be held in April.

The school is suppose to provide him with Mandarin lessons, but the responsible teacher has recently left the school so these lessons have yet to start. So, in the mean time, Will has started to play basketball with his grade 10 class after school. He teaches them English during the day; they teach him Chinese after.

The food provided by the school is “hit-or-miss.” But for a $1.10 he can get a bowl of noodles in town, and “you get to watch the guys make the noodles fresh and then dump em into the pot.”

In any case, it seems the people are friendly: always waving hello and smiling.


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