This weekend the Chinese had a public holiday. That meant: no classes. Because its a private company, we have to work during public holidays. Usually my weekends are jammed packed with classes, so it was really strange to see that I only had 1 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday. Although it was great that I didn’t have to teach, it also means I won’t be getting paid… but I won’t say no to the offer of a day free of teaching.
I also should be heading to Hong Kong this week for my visa. Although I’m looking forward to it, I know it’s going to be expensive, meaning what money I did save up, I’ll most probably spend a good chunk of it over there. Another teacher needs to get his visa so we’re going over together. Now I plan on doing some sightseeing while I’m there, because god knows when I’ll be back there again, but I think I’m the only one who is planning that…
It’ll also be the first time that I’ve been away from Zhonghai since I’ve arrived here, so when I return, will the feeling of being ‘home’ hit me.
When I was here for my internship, it didn’t really feel like ‘home’. The apartment didn’t feel like ‘my’ apartment, because I was sharing and I didn’t pay rent. I also didn’t feel like I ‘belonged’. Yeah I worked, but it didn’t feel intimate. I worked with hundreds of teachers… I knew none of them. I was swamped by students. There weren’t any other foreign teachers near me. (apart from my room-mate).
This time around I feel like I belong. I live in my own apartment and pay my own rent. I don’t rely on anyone but myself. I work in a place with great people and everyone is in the same boat. Everyone helps each other and there is absolutely no bitchiness. I’ve heard that in other campuses there is a lot of bitchiness going around. Every one of my colleagues is so nice and helpful. The students actually seem to like me and I have a great time with them. Most of the time they are laughing at me because I do something silly; but that’s the only way to bring out their own silly side.
I remembered when I worked in the college and thinking “It’s all so serious”. I was jealous of the other interns; they worked with children and pre-teens, meaning plenty of games and laughter. I worked with older students and the whole atmosphere felt subdued and serious. Students were studying for exams, and the whole college took rules a little too seriously.
Now there’s laughter, joking, chatting, plenty of games, and generally a happier atmosphere. Of course there are days where I just want to stay in bed, and not have to go in and (try to) teach some particular students. But generally it’s ok.
I suppose the only way to see what kind of teaching you like is to experience them all, both in public and private teaching. You won’t know until you try.