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On Celebrating Chinese New Years In A Warzone

21 Feb

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Everyone at The Child Academy dressed up for Chinese New Years

Celebrating The Year Of The Snake At The Child Academy

Ni hao!

TCA had a party to bring in the Year of the Snake and it was a lot of fun! Kids and staff dressed in traditional Chinese clothing and ate tons of dumplings. There was even a visit from the Fortune God with hong bao envelopes for the kids!

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At the Chinese New Years Party with Oscar!

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This little French student reminds me of one of the children from ‘Madeline.’

IMAG5827Here we are in our qipaos (traditional Chinese female dress)!

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Shanghai Turns Into A Warzone

Ami and I had a great week off for the Spring Festival holiday. While we enjoyed the non-stop firework displays that go along with the holiday, it was easy to wake up to explosions and mistake it for artillery fire.

year of the snake fireworks
All over the city people light off fireworks that put Vancouver Celebration of Lights to shame. Here’s one exploding right in front of our apartment.

 

Highlights from the break include meeting friends, baking, and enjoying Shanghai’s empty streets (most of the city has gone to visit their home towns). Ami also surprised me with a visit to Shanghai Circus World on Valentine’s!

circus

Gōng xǐ fā cái,

Cecily

Jobless In China

18 Feb

The difficulty started when I found myself visa-less and jobless in China wondering what my next move should be.

Being Let Go

August 19th: I’ve been working for a Montessori preschool for about a month. The staff is great, the kids like me and I enjoy the job. The school claims they will have no trouble procuring my work visa and life was good.

August 20th: I am let go.

The school had realized they were not legally allowed to hire a foreign English teacher. The news, delivered a week before my visa expired, hit me like a ton of bricks. Shaken up, Ami and I headed off to Hong Kong for temporary visas.

Hong Kong Vacation-018

Visiting Big Buddha in Hong Kong

The Long Job Hunt

While the trip to Hong Kong was amazing, our return to Shanghai was followed by an excruciating job hunt. One month passed without success. Money was getting tight. I was going to dozens of interviews but nothing felt right.

Thankfully, after two long months following every lead, I stumbled upon The Child Academy, and it was a good fit.

The Child Academy is an international preschool run by two Canadian guys. As school nurse and float teacher I combine my love for health care and children.

I create emergency protocols, teach health classes, cover for sick teachers, and help with the occasional bloody nose. The kids are aged one to six years old and definitely make the job worthwhile!

Zài jiàn,

Cecily

PS. We’re enjoying our first Chinese New Years in China. Look out for my next post coming later this week—I’ll show you how I rung in the New Year— at school and at home!

Teacher’s Tales: 2 Lesson Plan Mistakes You Don’t Recognize Until Too Late

10 Aug

Ni hao!

When I first started teaching, I was so nervous! I had so many ‘what ifs’ running through my mind. What if the kids didn’t like me? What if my lesson plans completely flopped?

I eventually found my rhythm with teaching—but my learning curve had some memorable mistakes that make me cringe when I think of them! Here are two slip-ups that caught me by surprise. Continue reading

The Darker Side of Teaching, Nightlife and Food in Shanghai

24 May

Nihao!

I am enjoying the weather today in Shanghai. It is cool and rainy and it is reminding me of Vancouver which makes me happy.

Beware of Wrath

I am slowly adjusting to teaching ESL at English First.  While most of my students are well behaved, I have one difficult fourteen year old that caused me a lot of frustration last week.

He’s a typical teenage boy—too cool for school and wanting attention from his classmates. This particular lesson he was disturbing the class with his crazy high giggle. After a few warnings I finally asked him to change seats.

When he refused I had to threaten sending his parents an update about his behavior. I was surprised at how intimidating my own wrath could be—I never knew I had it in me!

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like getting stern with students—but this boy’s behavior has since improved drastically. At least it was effective! Continue reading

ESL Training in Minhang

2 May

Shanghai
I have had a few days of training and now I am being thrown in with a full schedule starting this Thursday…yikes… The first week has been a bit overwhelming at my school in Minhang with English First (EF).

I feel like I have been given so much information that its’ been hard to stay focussed on what I should be doing. Continue reading