A couple of weeks ago I was asked to host the English festival for the Primary School. This involved learning lines and singing a song. The lines I had to learn were wedged in between Chinese, and I didn’t expect it to be for hundreds of people, so it was quite embarrassing when I fumbled my lines and the two young students I was with remembered all of theirs. It was a good experience though, and definitely put me out of my comfort zone. I also nailed a tear-jerking rendition of You Are My Sunshine.
It feels a lot easier to do things you otherwise wouldn’t when surrounded by a totally new environment. I’d be very cautious about agreeing to go on a stage and give a speech in front of students, parents and teachers, let alone sing. I feel making the most of the opportunity is very important, and I’ve been agreeing to any ‘extra-curricular’ activities offered to me. As another example, I recorded the listening test for the middle school students’ tests.
On the same day as the festival, I was walking around some of the parts of the school that I don’t usually frequent and caught the attention of a bunch of first graders. A few started following me, and then more and more joined the pack. Before I knew it I was surrounded by an army of them, all chanting英国人 “Yīngguó rén” (English Man), as I presume they didn’t know what else to call me. As you can see in the video, I was pretty amused by the moment; you can feel like a celebrity in the areas of China less exposed to Westerners. It certainly made my day anyway.
I’ve been teaching for a little over 2 months now, and it still feels fresh to me. I definitely have a lot more to learn and improve on, but I’m enjoying the process.