It’s the middle of summer here. Well. To be precise, we are in the second half of summer, and therefore slowly but surely heading towards autumn. What a relief it will be once the cool autumn breeze arrives. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer, but Qingdao is just too humid with barely any relief.
For the remainder of summer, I will teaching a group of sweet little children every morning during the week. Heather worked here for the first half of summer, and since then I have have stepped in as the teacher. There are roughly 6-10 students a day, and I enjoy teaching all of them.
The lessons take place in an apartment owned by one of the mother’s. The students are all on completely different levels, so teaching them is a bit of a challenge. One of the boys only just learned how to say, “Teacher, can you help me?” While a couple of the others are able to conduct full conversations with me in English.
I often take the students outside to play or to find certain specimens for science class. They are definitely a cute bunch, and they squeal with excitement when I tell them to put on their shoes so we can go downstairs! All of them love it when I take pictures of them, and recently they have even started bringing their own cameras. Whenever I take a picture, they try to take the same one straight after that.
It’s English AND photography lessons for these little ones.
This is Laura. She reminds me of myself at this age! She is quiet and shy, but she loves to draw, colour and do here work as perfectly as she can. When the others run out to the playroom to have fun, she stays seated, finishing her drawing or worksheet. At lunch I have noticed that she keeps a seat for me, and always makes sure that I have chopsticks and a bowl. She is so sweet!
One of the girls has a miniature book hanging from her pencil case. Initially I thought that it was simply an Asian-style notebook. There is no shortage of cutesy stationary here!! When I opened it, I discovered that it was actually a mini photo album. The pictures were professional ones of the student, taken in a park, with multiple outfit changes. It reminded me the Engagement Shoot we did last year.
The boys found it hilarious that I literally ran SCREAMING when they opened their hands to show me the cicadas that they had found. If you don’t know this yet, I am petrified of these things!!!
If you want to have a laugh, check out this blog posts: Rainforest Bugs. It describes an experience that we had with cicadas (and other creepy-crawlies) in the rainforest of Taman Negara, Malaysia.
The boys were running after me, bugs in hand, and shouting that these were only shells and that I shouldn’t be scared. They were, of course, shouting in Chinese, so I had no idea what they were saying! Eventually I realised that they were not holding live bugs, and I was able to – very slowly – move closer to take some pictures.
Playing Hide-and-Seek in the gardens
Last week we studied plants.
This week we are learning about animals.
[A crab formed with handprints]
One of the students, Betty, was only here for a week and a half. In that short period of time, we became quite close. Betty and her mother were visiting Qingdao, but today they left to continue traveling around China for the remainder of the summer vacation. They live in the Xinjiang Province and their journey home via train takes a whopping 50 hours!
Trying to make a pyramid
I have been trying to teach the kids to form a pyramid, but they can’t seem to grasp the fact that the stronger/ taller kids need to be on the bottom. So, as you can imagine… they come tumbling down every time they try.
After less than two weeks, I have grown pretty close to these students and I very much enjoy teaching them. This is a wonderful summer job because there is no pressure or stress. I am very thankful to have been given this opportunity to work for a month until our school opens in September.