Fuzhou, China – Friday 3rd, November, 7 am,
The squeaking sound of a jackhammer brutally pulls me out of my sleep. I can’t recall a night since I am here without being awakened by these bloody machines.
The building and area where I live in Fuzhou are still being constructed and the noise has become part of my new world. Somehow I got used to it.
It’s time to go teach at the school.
“Wake Up Yaaanceee!” I shout at the door of his bedroom.
(Yance is my Chinese friend I met in Sydney. He helped me attain a position as an English teacher at the school where he works, which has brought me to China. Teaching a second language to young children has always been one of my aspirations).
15 minutes later we’re running late to the school. Thank God it’s only 200 meters away from our apartment. In Fuzhou, no one wants to be stuck in the insane morning traffic.
The school is brand new. A month ago when I arrived, it was still a construction site and I thought it would never be ready on time. I was wrong. In a month, the site has transformed into a beautiful school.
What really caught my attention is that this school is not a primary school or part of an academic system. It’s a creative educational school that offers 3 courses: English, Drawing, and Dancing.
When Yance told me about it, it sounded like a dream. I have always wished to be able to teach languages in a fun and creative way, using games, music, art and role play.
The challenge was also to discover a new country. China sounded ideal. A real disruption of culture that would push me far out of my comfort zone. Again.
France, Australia, New Zealand and now China. I like to think that I have lived many lives in my life. I am a traveler at heart and there are so many things to discover about the world.
I have started to teach my own class and I have met so many different types of children with different personalities. From the shy little girl who does not want to leave her Mum to the exuberant boy who disturbs the class. I find extremely interesting and challenging the fact that no matter what, I need to engage with the children enough to catch their attention.
Once it’s done, it feels so good and rewarding to see the cutest happy smiling faces, having fun while learning another language.
I am discovering how to make teaching plans, curriculum for the year, and the greatest part is that we have the freedom to be creative. We incorporate songs, dance routines, games, art, role play. It’s so much fun. Way more fun than my old school memories.
Teaching and playing with children is a therapy to me. When I teach, nothing else matters. Worries and problems are gone. My only goal is to make the children happy and teach them the love of learning.
I do believe that Education is the foundation of a better future for humankind.
When I was a child I remember being so bored at school and not interested in the class. I used to daydream a lot and imagine crazy stories. I wish I had more encouragement from teachers to see above and beyond. And that it is okay to be different.
I want to encourage children to pursue their dream and I want them to feel great about themselves. Because that is just what youngsters are. Great.