28 August 2007

International Man of Mystery

Just call me Austin Powers. I'm now working at an International Kindergarten in Hong Kong. It's the / school about 2 minutes outside my front door. It is to be honest, quite awesome! Not only do I get to sleep in even more than usual, I don't have to spend any money whatsoever on transportation. Also I'm not subjected to the gazillion people on the MTR everyday, so the chance of catching SARS has probably gone down considerably.

I'm still teaching kindergarten, but in a somewhat different role. Being an international school, the main language of study is English. There are 5 other Westerners working there and we all have our own class. This means I teach all subjects (mainly arts crafts and playtime) to the children. Being 3-6 years old they don't really have subjects, but we will do some basic math and reading and things like that. In the mornings I will assist a K3 class that I teach oral English lessons to, so this will be the same as what I did last year. In the afternoon I have a K1 class that I am in full charge of. There is still an assistant teacher in the class I believe. The class is a huge mix of 6 children from Hong Kong and Japan. Hopefully they won't overwhelm me too much.

The thing I like most about the school so far is the more Western style of teaching, which basically means the children are taught like children a little more than in the local Chinese schools. They still have a heavy work load, but there is already more emphasis on having fun and playing games etc. Last week we took the whole school to the beach and the kids played in the sand all morning. A few other field trips this year will be going to various parks, libraries, and the Coca-Cola factory. I only went on two field trips all of last year with 10 schools!

I also have already been out on a 'social event' with most of the staff. This included sampling some local beverages (tropical juices of course) and getting to know everyone. Summer school had just concluded so it was more of an end of summer thing, but it was great to actually get to know the people I will be working with. One of the other teachers also plays rugby in Hong Kong, on the team the Typhoons train with. He's in a different division so we won't end up smashing each other's heads in.

All in all it's been a pretty busy first week and a half back in HK. I hadn't expected to be back at work so soon, but I couldn't pass up this new school. It's such a good situation. My old employers were nothing but helpful (although sad) to see me leave, but with such short notice they handled it well.

This coming weekend sees the return of the Typhoons. We are going on an all night pub-crawl to recruit new team members. It should be a fun time. The season starts at the end of September so maybe I should think about getting into shape a bit. Maybe lifting little kids all day will be a good thing.

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