Thursday, 31 December 2009

A long day

Today was a big day teaching-wise. I had a third-grade class at 10:30, a first-grade class at 11:20, an English class for older students at 12:30 and another third-grade class at 1:20. So I have just finished teaching for the day. But I think today went the best of all the days so far, I feel a bit more comfortable doing it now and I have a better idea what to expect from the different age groups. I enjoyed teaching the third-grade about the animals and they were very involved in learning the names.
As it is the 31st December it is New Year's Eve, so tonight will be a fun night I think! A nice end to a long day :) And a big weekend ahead visiting some more places in Taiwan, which I will write about after!!

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

lots of questions!

Today I had only had the sixth grade again in class. One class was very quiet and the other class was very loud! I enjoy being asked questions because it gives me something to work with. I have been asked about Australian food, if you can keep a platypus as a pet, what is the difference between australia and taiwan, where do I want to go in Taiwan, what other countries do I want to go to, what is a christmas pudding, if the chocolate easter eggs are nice and I have also counted to ten in Chinese for one class! I have not done that since high school but luckily I remembered! They then counted to ten in English for me and then backwards from ten. Some of the students here are very good at English.
Today is quiet day and a little bit cold, so that is all for now!
Plus I have uploaded more pictures on past posts now that I have been able to connect the camera to the computer so please take a look!

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

first class!

Today is my very first class! I will be working with the sixth grade for one lesson and then a special class with younger students practicing reading and talking in English.

Yesterday was a long day in which I tried a chicken pie. It looks like a schnitzel and tastes lilke beer battered fish. A schnitzel is German, a crumbed piece of meat. Beer battered fish is a popular meal in Australia, at the pub and at the beach with hot chips. So the chicken pie is a good combination! I also went to a famous restaurant with Paulina, where they serve very nice dumplings. We had fish and vegetable dumplings, with a chicken soup, bean shoots and tofu and noodles. It is a nice place and the dumplings are tasty. The restaurant is called Din Tai Fang.

Well it is time for my very first lesson! Fingers crossed!!............

After both my lessons:

they went well! I was obviously a little bit nervous beforehand but now I know what to expect. The classes go by in a flash, I have prepared too much for the lessons but I just wanted to make sure I had enough! The children are actually eager to learn about Australia and I enjoyed telling them about my country. The younger class did some reading, drawing and a game. They speak very good English for their age...better than I speak Chinese!!!! :)

Now that I have had lessons with both older and younger students I have a better idea what to expect, so I can tailor my lessons to the age group better. I enjoy the teaching, especially the smaller class for English. So hopefully all the rest of my classes go well!!! And here are some photos of my first day of teaching.

Monday, 28 December 2009

christmas and my first weekend

Friday 25th was christmas day and the school had various things to celebrate it. At the beginning of the day some of the parents, teachers and the principal handed out lollies at the school gate to all the children. There was also a concert by the special school with a performance by the kindergarten. All the children did really well and were very good performers! There was dancing, singing and playing musical instruments. And at the end, santa claus came and handed out presents to all the children.
The weather on Friday turned rainy and yucky, and was like that most of the weekend. A bad change from the nice weather earlier in the week.
My weekend was very busy and I saw much more of Taiwan! On Friday night I went to a Christmas party with my host family on the other side of Taipei. It was fun. On Saturday I went to Keelung to see the Yeliu Geopark. The weather was very misty and cloudy and not very good light for photos! But it is an interesting place. And Saturday night I went up the Taipei 101 Tower. It has a wonderful view, especially at night with all the city lights. Very interesting.
On Sunday I went to Taizhong with my host family. We visited some temples, among them a very old one in a town called Dajia. It was very pretty. It was a 2 hour drive so when we came back to Taipei I was very tired!
Today it is Monday, back at school for the week! Bad weather still! Well....I better finish off my lesson plan.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Merry Christmas!

Today is the 25 Dec, which means in australia my family will be celebrating xmas without me :(
Last night my host mother had a small christmas dinner party where they cooked fish, tofu, prawns, and sausage on a small electric bbq on the dinner table. It was very tasty. and they are going to teach me how to play mahjong.
Yesterday at school I had a small tour of the English classrooms and i also received my final timetable for my classes. I have many classes each day so i will be very busy! there is a regular class for each year level in which we will learn about Australia and play a game. Then there is also a small class, one for younger students on tuesday and one for older students on thursday. In this class we will practice conversation and reading in english. I hope I will be able to help the students in getting even better at english and also make them more comfortable in speaking it. Because I know it is sometimes embarrassing speaking in a different language because you think you will make mistakes, like saying the words wrong.

I also made my first solo trip to the convenience store and made my way home on the bicycle without getting lost or being confused!

And Bella, one of the English teachers, gave me a xmas present which was really nice of her! :)

Thursday, 24 December 2009

supermarket, tea house, fruit and hot pot

Well it is early morning on the 24th. Yesterday was a big day. I was at school all day, organising my lessons. And I also went to the supermarket to see all the food. And tried to figure out how to recharge my phone credit! It was confusing so someone else had to do it for me. But I know how to buy the credit now at least! thankyou Eric and Paulina for your help :)
After school I went to a tea house up at Muzha with Penny's friend Samantha (we have the same name!!) and had tea. It is really really nice and the view of Taipei is amazing! It was nighttime so all the city lights were on. The tea houses are very pretty and because it was Wednesday there was no-one there so it was very peaceful. Apparently on the weekend it gets very crowded. But it was quite high up so driving back down the mountain made me a little dizzy because of the change in altitude. It is very lush and green here, especially in the mountains where there are lots of trees and vegetation. Very pretty.
And the tea and snacks were very tasty too, and I liked learning a type of tea ceremony!
This morning at school there was an activity for the third grade with singing, learning about special needs. They sung a song about being blind first, called 'You are my eyes'. the children all joined in.
I have also tasted different fruits today, which Miss Young brought for me, which was very kind of her. There is a persimmon, a bell apple, and a milky zao zi, kind of like an apple. I have eaten the zao zi, which is tasty. Tastes like an apple but different.
Oh and yesterday the Parent Association kindly invited me for lunch, which was hot pot. There was a seafood one and a meat one, both with vegetables. The fish was tasty. Well that is all for today!

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Wednesday,a short day at school

So today the students only have a half day of lessons at school. They finish at lunchtime, which is good! Today I am maybe going to a tea ceremony and to Longshan Temple.

Yesterday at school I saw the students practicing with the Chinese Yoyo and a Lion Dance. They also had an activity day where they did science experiments and saw magic tricks. It was very interesting, and I got 3 balloon shapes...a swan, a flower, and a santa claus! They are very good.
I had a go in the lion costume which has specific ways to hold the head so that you can open the mouth. The dancing goes to a drum and cymbals, which the children play themselves too. They were practising yesterday but their dancing is really good. I had a go at the Yoyo, but it is really hard! They would need lots of practice and apparently they practice everyday. Very dedicated!

Plus here I am having a go in the lion ... lol

Yesterday it was sunny and I very much liked the warmth! Today it is cloudy again but not cold.

I have been preparing my classes for next week, and so far I have been organising things about Australia. I have done powerpoints about Australian weather and cities, Australian animals, australian sports and about my home city, Adelaide. I have also been collecting English books for reading classes, and making lists of games to play. and of course, writing my blog!

Yesterday I also met the kindergarten students, who are very very cute!
I am looking forward to starting classes with the students so that they will know me and not think I am scary! :) And so they will feel more comfortable speaking English. Now, I will have to become more comfortable speaking Chinese!!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

December 22 -My second day at Wu-Xing Elementary School

Hello everyone! This is my very first blog during my stay in Taiwan.
I arrived on Sunday and had my very first day yesterday at Wu-Xing Elementary School. I needed to have a rest because I was very tired from travelling all day on Sunday so I went home early yesterday to sleep! So today is really my first proper day at school.
I have met all the teachers today at a meeting this morning, and there are many more teachers here than there are at most of the primary schools where I live. I also didn't know the school was so big. My own primary school had only around 350 students, and this one has 1600! So it is very noisy at lunchtime :)
I have tried many different foods so far... yesterday i ate a bit of a chicken foot...eeeeek! I will not eat it again. Yucky. Today i had Tang yuan, which is a food to celebrate the winter solstice. It is sweet and quite tasty. It is a red bean soup with red beans and small balls which are red/pink and white. I liked it.
Last night I went to a nightmarket and ate a ice cream that is rolled up like a spring roll. it had peanuts and herbs with it. I am talking about food a LOT but there have been so many things to try...
Today I have had a tour of the school, which has many many rooms and is up to 5 storeys high. it is confusing but I am sure I will find my way around eventually! And I also went to the library to find English books to read later on. So that is all for today!!
oh....and it is sunny and kind of warm today!