|Yesterday after 6pm there was a flurry of work related emails. Today was our first day of class. Our placement tests indicate that many of the students probably cheated on their Chinese placement tests so the class assignments are way off. Thus our schedule was completely reworked. We won’t be team teaching, except for a few instances. Mainly we’ll be assigned to a group and teach them all 4 skills. Much simpler. Or it should be.
The emails also addressed the fact that our apartments are only half prepared and the classrooms weren’t ready. We’re teaching on a new floor that was just completed.
The director sent an email to the administrators threatening that if everything wasn’t ready by this morning we wouldn’t teach. That could be what it would take to get some action, but I believe if you don’t follow through on a threat, you lose credibility.
We wound up teaching in rooms that were dusty from the construction work, that had no wifi or projectors that worked. Even the blackboards were covered in an adhesive plastic and we couldn’t write on them. The wifi seems like a bonus, but we’re using ebooks, not paper ones. So wifi connects the students with their books. Also, none of us have class lists for a single class we’re teaching.
My first class was the Art 105, the blended learning class that I will facilitate. We’re supposed to do some prep work so the students are able to handle the vocabulary, reading and writing needed for this class. Not only didn’t we have access to the online course material, but all the wrong students were in the class. To take a college course, they must prove they have a high level of English skill. The Chinese administrators want to just fill the room and no thought has gone into the fact that if you can’t write two insightful college level essays, you’re going to fail. What’s the point of having a dozen kids audit a class they don’t understand? Is there an advantage to challenging the students who belong there with malingerers who’ll distract them?
Somehow I survived by having the students discuss and write about art. Then I had an English class that I managed to get through since the students are fairly high level.
Fourth period was mass confusion, I waited in my class for students. Some came. I began to teach. Mind you I have no print out of my schedule, which has changed twice since 9pm yesterday. I have no class lists. Then the program director comes in and says there’s been a mistake. He distributes the kids into the classes that they now belong in. No one’s left so I go to the office. I figure I’ve got a break, a well deserved one.
A bit later, Avie, a Chinese administrator is looking for me. It seems I had a class that was waiting for me in another teacher’s classroom. So I led them into my classroom and taught them. Afterward my colleague Jimmy got upset because I had erased something he wrote on my blackboard.
[categories China, expat life, bad jobs]
12 Sep 2011 Leave a Comment