Yes it’s Saturday, and yes we have teacher training and yes the kids are in school as well. Working hard seems to be second nature here.
This morning was supposed to be simply getting the teachers to teach another Genki English lesson each. But word seemed to have got out because we had new teachers turn up as well. This is great, but it also meant I had to go over the basics again, which when you add in translation time took up almost an hour (Under the Sea worked great as an example lesson though.) So the teachers didn’t get to the “perfect” stage with teaching Genki English but they were a heck of a lot better than yesterday.
The Left & Right blindfold game was a big hit!
Jolly Phonics & Tears of Joy
Then in the afternoon they were doing a similar thing with the Jolly Phonics lessons i.e. given a lesson plan and having to teach a lesson from that, then everyone else gives feedback. After this morning’s pretty much unanimous feedback of “make sure you read the lesson plan” and “make sure you practice before the class” nobody wanted to be criticised on the same points again so they actually did 2 spot on 100% perfect lessons! Excellent.
I was a bit miffed, well not really but curious, as to why they were so good this time. But they were saying that having the feedback in the morning session was what spurred them on to do so well. Plus of course in a phonics course you only teach one new sound in one hour, in Genki English there are loads! But they’re all totally on board with the idea of reading the lesson plans and preparing the lesson which is great.
The best thing are the head teachers who are attending. They have never studied English and the look of delight on their faces when they can say or read a sentence or answer a question is amazing to see. I thought one of them might actually cry he looked so happy! And having the head teachers on our side is going to help so much in the battle against the traditional “chalk & talk” rote learning lessons.
School Lunch in China
I also videod the school lunch today. Partly because of the school lunch project, but also because it’s the best school lunch I’ve had in any country, plus it’s different everyday. Very healthy, just a touch spicy. Chinese food for lunch everyday, can’t be bad! Be sure to share your school lunch on the members forum.
(I hope the video is OK. Although I can upload OK I can’t actually see videos here)
So after a long, but very fruitful day we went out for dinner in Tiananmen Square. Certainly an experience to remember.
And be sure to read tomorrow, it’s our day off so we’re going to the Great Wall!