When I arrieved at Web I was shown my timetable for the day. It displayed six classes, with one of those being the "demo class" for students of Wenzhou University. Again, I wasn't happy. I could not believe they were giving me the responsibility of this demo, and then giving me five classes on top of it. How could they expect me to do a good job when they don't give me any time to prepare anything?
I started to think that the day could not get anyworse, when somehow my luck began to change. My first two classes were really enjoyable and we had a good chat, my mood was totally reversed. When I finished my second class I was told that the time of the demo was wrong on my timeteble, so another teacher would have to take my class. Even better (not for poor Johann though). Afterwards, I had a nice lunch with Kimi, and returned to the hotel to prepare my demo class. They had given me a topic that I had to talk about: "How to improve English". I found some websites and made a simple power point presentation. Just as I finished the lot, it was time to go into the English Corner room to start.
I expected the level of the students in this class to be generally better than what I am used to. Also, because they were all university students I hoped that they would be much more talkative as a group. I stood on the small stage in the English Corner room, introduced myself, and after ten minutes found out that they were just the same kind of audience I have become accustomed to. It was me talking a lot while I tried to retrieve a conversation from them, the words 'blood' and 'stone' came to mind. Thankfully three students in the room were asking questions and joining in. The rest just didn't understand a thing I was saying or were too embarrassed to say anything. It was tough, but after forty minutes we got something going and they started to relax with me a bit. I wrapped up the class, said goodbye, and continued to my next one, an "Ice Breaker", the lowest level at Web.
Somehow a class about "Time" became quite enjoyable, well I had fun anyway. We practised saying the "th" sound as in "three" for about ten minutes. One woman just couldn't get it and kept pronouncing it as an "s" sound, so "thank you" turns into "sank you" -- a common mispronunciation in China. Also, in my final class we had a nice conversation about travelling too.
I walked home feeling that I had actually had an enjoyable working day at Web. Recently I have become to tire of the routine of each class, the topics coming around again and again and again (if I get the planets one more time I am going to go insane). The working day starting at 1pm and finishing at 9pm is starting to grate, and the fact that so many students have no desire whatsoever to learn English is wasting my time. Thankfully, today was a good one, I hope tomorrow is too.