First Week of School

Despite my jet lag and not sleeping all through the night once, I’ve made it through week one of the semester. It’s always hard as I’m learning new names (70 new ones this time) and getting used to where each class meets, learning the idiosyncrasies of each room’s computer. Also, I’m trying to answer questions from the newbies and help them find their ways around town and around the neighborhood.

This time two of the new Australian teachers live off campus. Their lead teacher hasn’t shown up yet. A sub has been here and leaves tomorrow. She seemed nice but not at all taken with Jinan. Since we’re such a small group, I tend to socialize with the Australians and there will be a void if that’s not part of the experience.

I’m looking forward to the new semester and am trying to figure out what sort of projects to have my students do. I like that creative aspect of the job.

I’ve also been struck that although I was here two months ago, I’d forgotten how little English many of the students know. It’s limiting and I’ve scaled back what I plan to cover.

There will be some changes. Yesterday we got an email saying that we shouldn’t be surprised if Chinese teachers and administrators pop in to our classes to observe unannounced. It sounded like this would happen many times and it wouldn’t just be one person observing. If it is frequent and if several people observe that creates a weird vibe. I Don’t know why they’re starting this measure. We’re told that they want to make sure teachers are prepared. For the last few years, the English teachers all seemed to be conscientious. I can’t speak for the business or IT teachers.

Another change is that the new president of the university has moved into our building between a business and IT instructor. The middle apartments don’t even have closets. I’m not sure why he wouldn’t live somewhere nicer. Is he observing the IT instructor, who’s had some complaints I won’t mention here?


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