From Jamie's Philippines Pics

We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.

We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.

Thanks for checking us out!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
- Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou






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Thursday, August 21, 2008

First Day of School

The students came for only a half day today for the first day. I'm not sure why every school does not do it this way. The students only stayed in their "tracks," which is the QSI Shekou word for saying Homeroom. We won't see our track kids daily, although we both will be teaching all of them in some capacity.

The morning was regular first day of school stuff: rules, consequences, grading policy, etc. We then went upstairs to the open area on the 3rd floor and heard from the middle school director, counselors, and athletic director. It was hot, humid, and we all grossly sweated. The students left immediately after this gathering, and Jamie and I worked in our rooms the rest of the day.

Another schedule change, our third today only and probably 10th in about a week.

Because of scheduling issues, each teacher who was scheduled to teacher a period of "study hall," "resource," or "Model UN," was asked to create a class that will keep the students occupied during this time. I had 6 of those on my schedule with various students coming to me each time.

Jamie and I have chosen to do a "Mock Trial" class for a while. We're not sure how long this class will last, but we also might do "Literary Circles (Book Club)" with them. One teacher, whose idea I might steal, is doing a "Blogging Class." Another teacher, whose idea I won't steal, is doing a drama performance class. This is all quite exciting yet we all had mixed feelings about this.

For one, there is no curriculum for what we will be doing. The administration wants the parents to think that we are not just babysitting for those classes, and the students' time will be well spent making them more rounded. The lack of structure will be an issue after a while and our workload will increase substantially having to prepare for these classes.

It is however, a decent idea. The teachers at this school particularly bring various expertise to their jobs. Many are teaching out of field, and it will allow them to have a sense of purpose and fully be creative with teaching a home-made class. I for one am excited about the mock trial class and believe it can be successful.

I will certainly keep everyone updated as to our continued surprises and issues at school. We were told the day we interviewed for this job that we would have to be flexible. Since Jamie and I are teaching Reading, Language Arts, Mathematics (all out of our field and comfort zone), I think we are being quite flexible. Everyone in the school is practically in the same boat. Even veteran teachers have had to adjust.

Interesting first day and one I won't ever forget!

1 comment:

Jenni said...

Good luck with your mock trial class! Let me know if you need any help with ideas or case studies.

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