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I found my new favorite drink

I found my new favorite drink

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More name tags from Wednesday! It was also Teacher’s day in China yesterday. Which is I guess a holiday for teachers where you still have to go to work. But it’s cute because you have a lot of kids running around giving you little gifts and stuff. I got a few cards & a flower from some kids. Another girl told me she had a gift but forgot it & would bring it next week.

The top name tags are second grade. A lot of kids ask me to help them spell their names & some just do their darn best. I have a Seven, Herry, Hapy, and Alxe. They’re just wee little though so it doesn’t make a big difference yet. Kids here write their letters backwards too, just like home.

The bottom are my 4th graders. Wednesday is nice because I have one really great class of 4th graders. The girls in that class are super cuties who all tried to make the cutest cards for me & would get so excited when I said their drawings were cute. 

I’m gonna make some more today! so hopefully I get some even more really cute cards. This week flew past compared to last week. I guess that means it’s getting easier? I’m getting more organized too. I’m taking individual notes on every single class so I better know how to deal with them day by day in my lesson plans.

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I got my first gift as a teacher today! A 4th grade girl gave me this flower thing & they told me it’s soap. 

My classes made name tags today & I tried to fill out seating charts so at least I know who is who & can try to gain some control. Or if they’re really bad I can go to their chinese teacher & be like, this kid in this seat is bad, do something about it. These are some of the favorite ones I got! Left is second grade, right is fourth. Cassi in 4th grade also wrote “I love you Miss B” on hers

One of my fourth grade classes today.. they’re so weird. They’re not rowdy really, just really really weird. Some kid touched my face out of nowhere & made a big fuss about how soft my cheeks were, so like 20 kids kept reaching up & touching my cheeks yelling about soft they were. So weird like why the heck are you even touching your teacher’s face??

And a picture of today’s lunch. Lunch is usually kind of meh but like I said, free, so I shut up and eat it. I generally just eat as much rice as possible so I’m getting carbs at least. It was good today though! I thought the stuff on the left was potatoes, but it wasn’t. It was okay, whatever it was. 

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This is what my school looks like! Some parts of it, anyway. I’ll take more over time. It’s hard to when I’m actually walking to and from classes because I’m usually rushing around.

The hallways are all opened to the outside so I guess if there’s ever a sign that it’s warm here most of the year through, I’d say this is it. I get mixed reviews of winter here. Some say it’s not freezing but it’s cold, and others say it’s not cold at all. I guess we’ll see in a few months.

There are some more tropical looking trees and stuff here than ever would even survive at home. I think we’re on like the 31st degree latitude so as south as like florida and stuff? I don’t remember.

It’s easier to get around than it looks at first! I’ve only had one day this week, because we had monday off. The kids are still brats but I think we’ll get used to each other a little more. Three days a week I have a 40 minute 2nd grade class and it’s really hard. kids don’t want to pay attention to me for that long & they understand so much less than the other grades. I’m going to have to think of lots of games and songs for them. 

The cafeteria food isn’t great, but it’s free, so I have lunches there anyway. Today was a pretty good lunch actually. I usually just use it to load up on rice so I can survive the afternoon. Today we finally tried the chicken restaurant across the street from our school, it’s owned by the mother of an older student here that we don’t have. It was really good though! I had a chicken burger & it was so good I’m in love. I’m definitely going back often. The owner lady was super nice & chatty too, it was cool. 

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here are some pictures of around the city I’m in! it’s called zhangjiagang (ZJG for short). It’s not a huge city. It’s small but it doesn’t feel too small. It’s not that there’s so much amazing stuff to do here, but it feels busy. There’s still a lot of discovering to do before I find any super cool stuff. I still haven’t found like a great restaurant to go to, which is lame. We went looking today, but it was a national holiday so basically everything was closed down.

the third picture is the center of this cool mall. kind of cool? it was all circular and open and neat but didn’t have many stores in it and it didn’t really make any sense. It had a movie theater though, so we want to go see something one day.

The last one is my favorite. It’s just along a small river that goes through town & looks really nice all lit up at night. It’s really cool. I think that’s all mostly apartments though along the river so I dunno. Still not too much to do.

Lots left to explore though!

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there’s a thing on my door!

there’s a thing on my door!

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here are a few basic pictures of my apartment! I finally got to clean up and finish unpacking. It’s all covered in ivy which is okay because when the sun shines through it it’s really pretty. I have a huge bed with a comfortable pillow I bought for myself. My bedroom is awesome & I have air conditioning. it’s actually a really nice place that just needs a little work to make it less crappy. Like something to stop the billions of mosquitos from getting into my room because I hate them a lot like please get a life mosquitos.

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first week of teaching is over!!!!! (mostly)

I still have one class tomorrow afternoon of sixth graders, but so far I really love the sixth graders here so I’m really not all that worried about it. 

The first day was so crazily hard. I only found out on monday that I would be teaching little kids, and I started on tuesday morning. I thought for sure up until monday that I was teaching high schoolers, so I was like, oh poop.

second graders: have like 0 attention span. one class of them is 30 minutes which is manageable, but the other is 40 minutes & it’s basically the worst. In my last class today, a little girl just started crying because her friend took something. after the whole class of my having to tell everyone to be quiet every 5 seconds I was just like, ok whatever.

fourth graders: my first day they were awful. I think it’s just that they were excited? chinese kids are quiet for their chinese teachers because they’re scared of them apparently. I think that after a while they’ll be quiet for me too. my second day I went in & told them rules & they actually listened a little better.

both of these grades get stickers. one sticker for one kid per class meeting, which is once a week. It seems to work so far! they see the kid who does get a sticker & want one & when I tell them to be good next week, they’re like YEAH OKAY.

It was a hard week, but I get to plan next week’s lessons this weekend & I think things can go a little better. If you want to help me (and have actually read all of this) send me good little kid songs!! songs with dances or anything that I can use for the young ones. I’m thinking of like, head shoulders knees & toes, the hokey pokey, I don’t even know. just little simple english ones like those that little kids can mimic & do in class. 

I’ll post this weekend about my apartment & school & city and stuff! I really like the way it all looks, but I’ve been so busy with scrambling and teaching I haven’t even fully unpacked or cleaned! it’s crazy getting thrown right into teaching like I was.

I’m covered in mosquito bites.

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all from my last free night in Beijing! We went to this one cool shopping street somewhere in the city I don’t even know where. it was kind of late, so certain things were shut down, but there was a lot of food and a lot of people.

the first picture is right on the street & it weirdly reminded me of like a Chinese version of main street usa in disney. it wasn’t really meant to look like that, but it just gave off that feeling to me for some reason.

there were some cute (but too expensive) zodiac statue things. I took a picture of the goat because I am the goat :) I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to take pictures so I was pretending to check my phone, so it’s not a great picture, haha.

I’ve started teaching! but I’m going to write about that later on, after I finish my first week. 

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updated contact information:

I can’t use Line chat, it won’t load here.

I can use:
kakaotalk: search for “junmuhuh”
wechat: abakaitus
email: ashleybakaitus @ gmail
skype: ashleybakaitus