My semester at Chengdu Sports Institute has unfortunately come to an end after 18 weeks of teaching. I’m really going to miss the lifestyle and culture here. I’ve had a fantastic time living and teaching in China, it’s been filled with great experiences!
I was very nervous when I walked into my first class as I never thought I’d be capable of standing up in front of 25 people and teach them English. It can be quite daunting having so many faces looking up at you for inspiration but as the semester went on, the nerves quickly faded away.
After a few weeks of teaching, I discovered how my students learn and how they adapt my lesson plans to suit them. This made the class much easier to teach while also making the students more comfortable speaking English with me.
My amazing time here hasn’t come without it’s challenges, of course. During my experience, there have been moments where I’ve had to make quick decisions due to technical difficulties or slight scheduling issues. It’s during these times that I’ve had some of my best classes!
One example is a time when I had turned up to do one of my classes to find the room was already taken. To solve this, I had to find somewhere to take my students where they would still be interested while also learning oral English. I ended up taking the class outside to the sports grounds and conducting the lesson there. The students loved the change of scenery!
Teenagers being teenagers, attendance can sometimes be an issue; this can be especially very frustrating as material is been prepared for each lesson. But that’s life, you have to think on your feet and find ways to resolve these kind of issues.
On the flip side, there have been plenty of moments that made me proud to be a teacher. Many of my students have told me that they’ve improved since I’ve been here. That alone is a great feeling in itself. It’s been a pleasure meeting each and every one of them and it’s been sad to say my goodbyes.
My living arrangements have been cosy and homely; although, I have missed cooking my own meals. It’s been a convenient place to live as everything is close by. I have plenty of tourist hot-spots (Wuhou Shrine and Jinli Alley to name a few) and local amenities near me as I am situated in central Chengdu.
Chengdu has been a pleasure to live in for the past 5 months; it’s so laid back and chilled out. There’s been plenty of opportunities to travel around Sichuan and visit beautiful locations such as Mount Emei, Leshan’s Giant Buddha and Zhangjiajie. These trips have certainly made my adventure more memorable!
I’ve really enjoyed my experiences in China and I’ve created some amazing memories with friends and students alike; I will miss living here, I love the culture and of course, the delicious food. Who knows where my next destination will be?
Thanks to Sophie for her third wonderful article about life in China, read her first and second one!
*UPDATE* Sophie loved teaching in China so much that she has already decided to return in August 2017 to further her experience!