[PICTURE: TAKEN WHILE WAITING TO CROSS THE STREET FROM THE HOTEL TO THE METRO, GUANGZHOU]
I don’t like how I left that post yesterday, re-reading it it was just a bunch of negative comments and a whole heap of moaning. I guess I needed to get it out, which is fine, and what better place than my own personal blog to vent my frustrations? But, that’s not the kind of person I try to be. I try not to be a “negative-Nancy”, a “moaning-myrtle”, a “winey-whinnie” and all those other alliteration things… I try to be neutral, maybe even sometimes on the optimistic side of things. But, sometimes that’s hard, especially when faced with tough challenges or when things change. But, if we don’t stay positive, or at least level headed, the whole world (or our world at least) will collapse in a whole pile of chaos all around us.
I feel a little more positive today, despite still awaking at 1am and 3am thinking it was time for my alarm to go off (yep, jetlag is kicking in. I even fell asleep in Subway the sandwich shop yesterday… but we won’t talk about that.) I headed to the offices via the metro again, with laptop bag over my shoulder, and book in hand, and arrived promptly at 9.30am. I was whisked strait into the board room and my laptop was hooked up to the projector, it was time to present me lesson…
In my “class” there were 3 members from the Teaching Support department here and they acted as my students, supposedly aged 15/16. I gave it my all, ignoring the voice in the back of my head telling me how foolish I must look while throwing a big thumbs up and yelling “I love pizza!” as part of the warm-up exercise. The class went well, my power point was bright, colourful and full of pictures, and my personal favourite slide was my self-introduction.
I was told I can get the students to call me whatever I prefer, and Charlotte seems a little difficult for the Chinese mouth to get around, so Charlie it is. I also obviously had to highlight my Welsh pride and probably for the first time showed them our amazing flag. To help put our small but beautiful country into perspective for them, I included the Welsh population, and the Guangzhou population… the difference is mind-blowing. Guangzhou, one city (yes it may be the 3rd biggest city in China) has a rough population of 8.2million (also note, these figures are now a fair few years out of date), compared to our own little population of about 3.1million. Really does make you realise how lucky we are in Wales to still have so much space and green around us. It’s something I know everyone misses when they leave home to move to the city. On this personal introductory slide, I obviously had to include my family, the fury ones as well.
So yes, I was given plenty of positive feedback, again including that I have a nice persona and a smiley happy attitude (which I was told is a must for this teaching position I will be trying for tomorrow), and also some helpful pointers and tweaks to make. I was also told “you can tell you’re a photographer or something arty, your PPT really shows that.” It’s always nice to hear that others who do not know me can see that side of me shine through, even in something as simple as a PPT.
I’ve now been given a grand total of 3 hours for my lunch break, which honestly, is ridiculous, especially when my hotel is a 10 minute walk, a 1 stop and a change on line 5, and 3 stops on line 6 and a walk away from the office. I can’t just nip back in 10 minutes, and then back again in a couple of hours. As I mentioned in passing earlier, yes I did accidentally fall asleep in Subway yesterday during my lunch break, and that was only an hour and a half… today was supposed to be 2, but I’ve been sad back in the board room for an hour on top of that now awaiting David and co. I thought I would be out of here and free by 3, as they just wanted me to run through the class one more time with the few tweaks made, including SLOW DOWN WHEN SPEAKING, which I’m sure will be my biggest struggle… I was hoping to, and probably still should, hop on the metro when I’m finished and head into the city to see some of the sights, even if it’s just to the walking street, the river size and the giant famous tower that Guangzhou is so proud to have. Jet lag has been making me waver throughout the day, and due to this I’ve just being going right back to my hotel, sticking on a film and getting into bed to watch it, this inevitably ends in me taking a 15minute nap, which I’m SURE is not helping me get my sleep routine right.
In a few days (September 1st) I will be starting my job, supposedly, so that means no late mornings, no sleepy afternoons, and no 3pm naps. I need to get this right, I must make myself stay awake until a normal sleeping time tonight, and hopefully by tomorrow morning I will be right as rain and prepared fully for this “teach-a-lesson-interview” type thing. David is STILL waiting to hear the final details, such as time, how many will be in the class, if there is anything they specifically want me to do or not do, etc etc. So, all pretty important stuff that we still don’t know, less than 24 hours until show time… If all goes well tomorrow, I’m not sure what the plan is, do I move in tomorrow evening? Tuesday? Wednesday? Do I have to be in the school before Thursday to familiarise myself, will I be given a syllabus to follow, will I be told/helped with my first week of lessons? Who knows… equally as unknown though, is what happens if I am NOT successful tomorrow. But, we can cross that bridge if we come to it, I don’t want to unnecessarily stress myself out. What will be will be, and it will all lead to where I’m supposed to go, I’m a great believer in that. There isn’t too much I’m a great believer in; nature being the greatest power, Darwin, giving people second chances, letting go of anger (for the most part), and that everything happens for a reason. I’ve used this quote in my blog before, but I still love it:
“When you look back, you will discover it was never random.”
If I don’t end up teaching in Foshan, if I get sent somewhere else, then I’m sure after the academic year, I will find something, a reason why I had to go there. It all sounds very cheesy and cliché, but it’s a good way to deal with life when you’ve had a lot of spanners thrown in the works or a fair few unplanned detours.
Well, we’re now almost up to 3 and half hours of “lunch”/me sitting around and waiting… Maybe if I stop typing they will come in and think I’m ready… And I guess I am, ready as I’ll ever be…
Wellllllllll, yet another change of bloody plan… just as I’d got used to and was actually looking forward to the idea of teaching High School, David came in and ushered everyone out the room and stated he needed to have a word with me… The high school position is no longer needed; they’ve used internal staff to fill to place. Now, I’m having a video conversation/interview on Tuesday within the same school, but for a Primary Oral English Teacher role. What the hellllll?! So within a few days I’ve gone from thinking my position as a kindergarten teacher in Foshan was solid. To being told nope, moving city. To being relocated back to Foshan, but as a High School teacher, and nooowww, to a Primary School teacher. This also means the hours (2 days) I’ve spent preparing, practicing and making the lesson I’ve done over the past few days is useless. Great. Back to square one… It’s also now gone 5.30pm so I won’t be heading into the city to see the sights, I will be heading back to the hotel to amend my CV to make it look like I have loads more primary school experience.
[It’s now almost 8.30pm]
I really don’t want to sound like I’m ungrateful for this opportunity, or that I’m unwilling to face a challenge, but this is ridiculous. Surely if I have to tweak or “bend” my CV to successfully get the position, I’m not qualified, and that’s not fair on the school, the students, or me. I don’t even know what I want from them at this point… Do I just want an apology for being messed around? Do I want them to tell me; no, you’re not qualified, you have to lie. Do I want them to say; fine, go home, goodbye? I have no idea anymore. I just feel so drained and let down. I was so pumped and ready for this, I thought I was going into the unknown a little, but I knew I had some things set; I knew my city, I knew my age group, and I knew I had a solid job. Now I know nothing and it’s all up in the air.
Well would you look at that. My positive post has turned into another miserable moaning essay. I know I will be fine when/if I ever settle into a position here, but this pre-job experience is really tainting me.