Yes, it has been too long since we wrote. Our internet has been out at the apt that we are staying at. So i makes it hard to write or Skype. Right now I am in my classroom trying to think about the work I should be getting done, but I can't because my mind keeps thinking of my wonderful family and friends. I really really miss you guys....ug, 'nough of that..no tears now...anyway...
Today I introduced Callie the Cat to my class (my Folkmannis puppet) It is our class "pet". The kids LOVED it (especially the girls) (: Also, they love playing with the Wedgits and Zoobs. I use my big finger-pointer every day for calendar time (and now the first grade teacher wants one )
I also use my “Music Maker”/little harp everyday. It’s my sound to have the children stop and listen. Also, my art students LOVE to play songs on it. I had a girl today ask if she could buy one…I told her dad to look up OverThe Rainbow Toy store (:
I have 9 students now, 5 ESL (English as a Second Language) and 4 English speakers. They are all pretty sweet, yet quite a handful. But I'm tough, so I'm whipping them into shape (:
Jeff likes his students. He has 7 now (I think) half are ESL. All his students like him! They are all so happy to have a male teacher that is funny and cares about them.
I am also the art teacher for the 1st-6th graders as well. One of my classes is the 1st and 2nd graders together (that's 25 students!) It's not my favorite, but I'm learning (:
This week and last week I taught the color wheel (primary, secondary, and complementary colors).
This school is pretty nice...but I'm really one for routine, structure, and rules. So at the first staff meeting I brought up areas where I saw that things are needed...needless to say they all agreed...but who do you think is the one that had to spear head it all? Yes, me. That's ok though, my wonderful husband helped. And the teachers say they see how the changes are good, and that these rules and routines are good for the students and school. So now they are all starting to enforce these things in their classrooms as well. I told the kids that I'm not trying to be mean; that ,in fact, I'd rather play and have fun too...but to play and have fun, you must first have firm roots in rules and structure! Silly (:
Tomorrow some of Xining’s police are coming to look at our school and to do some interviews on TV. Then on Friday (either this or next) the Vise Governor of Xining is coming to look at our school. China is all about "gwanshee" (that's not how you spell it, but that's how you say it) roughly it means "relations". So this is really good for our school to have these high-ups coming to see us! Hopefully we make a good impression!
Jeff and I have not moved into our new apt yet. But we did see it...and let me tell you...it is Chinese bling...we even have a small disco ball!!!! and FOUR rooms...I don't really like the place, but I'll work to make it our own...That and we will have a guest room!!!!
We have not moved in yet...hopefully this week end...it's SO hard because I don't know how to do anything in Chinese! We have to get some one to help us move our stuff, get a washer machine, internet, pay the electricity....and so on and so on....We are buying a nice bed and couch from a couple that is moving. We haven't seen these things, but we hear they are nice and from IKEA (: (and we already have a guest bed!!!)
Jeff and I are doing pretty good. We are making friends/connections. In fact last week Friday we were invited over to the Jones (their daughter is in my class) for BBQ chicken! It was nice. The expat community is really nice and good to us. We are so thankful for that!
Oh goodness, I really need to go…but I’ll try write again, sooner rather than later (: However the rest of this week is going to be FULL!
Thank your for all your support and prayers.