But, last night we met some of the other foreign teachers in Jinan. We were told to meet everyone at the bar around 9pm. We got there a bit early (shocking, I know) and ended up going into the place on our own at about 9:15. We thought that maybe we'd misunderstood and threw around the idea that we'd been stood up (after our experience with unfriendly Jecheon expats, we figured it was possible). Luckily, folks were just a bit late. First we met Rudy, another Always teacher (though at a different campus). Then a few minutes later everyone else rolled in. I spent most of the time talking with Anna (she's been here over two years, is a student at the university and speaks awesome Mandarin). All the expats seem really inviting, helpful and fun.
So, far, it's almost like it's been a bit too good to be true this time around. I'm trying to reserve judgment until after we start teaching. But, we're pretty stoked to be here.
Another first: today we began our official training. Our campus has prepared us really well with getting us our textbooks and software early on, so we're feeling confident. After going over expectations and watching a couple of brief teaching videos today, I feel like our TLH TEFL education has given us the tools to kick ass.
Let's hope that I can live up to that statement.
Arnold, the vice principle (more like vice superintendent, since he's in charge of all the campuses) ran our training today. He's also friendly and helpful. I also agree with his ideas on teaching methodology and relating to students. A positive start for sure. He's even given us at least one (as many as three) opportunities to teach practice classes before we start our semester. No need for "new class jitters!"
I have to run and plan out a short demo lesson for tomorrow (it's only 15 minutes, but I want to kill it), so I'll leave you with some pictures. Oh, do be sure to read the captions, I'm writing a lot in there these days.