I have arrived in Guangzhou for a good 2 weeks now. This has been my long anticipated new life since the past spring. I’m back in china again, but with a new role, in a new city, and most definitely a new mindset.
I am participating in a program called the Ameson Year in China (AYC). They send (mostly) recent college graduates to teach English in Chinese K-12 schools. AYC is kind of a new program. They seemed to be in need of more participants. I saw the first year participants crying about AYC’s lack of organization. They have improved, though I think typically for these kinds of programs, once you are paired with a school, you are on your own with the school thereafter. I haven’t gotten any teaching materials, or information on the Chinese lessons they promised. I’m not really participating for the work and travel they advertised. What I’m looking forward to is raising cultural awareness they talked about during the interviews, the ESL teaching experience I can get, and employment at a K-12 school where typical lives of the new Chinese people start.
I was placed in Kang Youwei Memorial Primary School (康有为纪念小学/ KYW) in Guangzhou. School started September 1st, but I arrived 2 weeks late, because my work permit was delayed. Apparently, someone in the office of the Education board was out of office, and that person was the only one who could get the job done, so for anyone placed in Guangzhou, their visa was delayed.
I got a modest welcome to the school as the foreign teacher. I say modest, since other teachers who looked obviously foreign (not Asian) seemed to have gotten an explosion of welcomes by students, staffs, and LED signs…
From what I’ve heard, KYW is a typical school of typically well-off families. It might have been a joke, but I’m not sure. The teachers brought that up when explaining how staffs and teachers get free breakfast and lunch at school, because the parents of our students have a lot of money. I’m only commenting about the food right now because I haven’t really started teaching yet. After the National Holiday I will start class. I will be teaching grade 1, and grade 5-6. Total of 18 classes a week.
In the mean time, I’m really enjoying – free – breakfast and lunch at school. Yum…!
Typical KYW Breakfast: porridge, noodles, dumplings, bread, steamed buns..
Typical KYW Lunch: usually they have a good mix of meet and vegetables with some kind of pickled vegetables. Somedays they have soup, and somedays they have Chinese dessert.