Day in the life: Teaching English in a primary school in China.




Many ESL teachers want to know more about Teaching English in a primary school in China, especially those who have no experience teaching English before.

Teaching English in a primary school is quite different from teaching in training centers or kindergartens. Primary schools in China are also called “public schools”.

1:Get up at 7:30 

According to most primary schools’ school time, you can expect to wake up at around 7:30 and get dressed, and then have your breakfast. You can choose many places to eat your breakfast, on the corner near your apartment or another block. You can have a selection of traditional Chinese food such as: rice porridge, Fried bread sticks, dumplings and fried noodles. The food is delicious and very cheap. It costs you just 3 Yuan RMB (About $0.50 cents). After breakfast, you’ll usually walk to school or take a motorbike taxi for just a few Yuan!

2: 8:15 School arrival

When you arrive at school, you will see students all waiting for you with their parents. Students arriving at school will greet with you and say “hello”. After finding your classroom you'll greet your Chinese assistant and get your materials ready to start the lesson. Your routine will usually be starting with saying: “good morning” to the students and they will reply you with good morning teacher. They will stand up from their chair and say morning in English. In China, it is a way to show respect to their teachers. Your lesson will be full of games, oral work and activities so the time flies by! After your lessons in the morning you'll break for 3 hours for lunch, usually 11:30am to 2:30pm but it can vary depending on the school.

3: Lunch time

Class will be over at around 11:30 am. Students go home for lunch and you then have your own time. According to experienced teachers, you can go back your apartment and cook for yourself or go to the nearest café to have a rest, get a coffee and pizza. Bring your favorite books and enjoy your leisure time. Also you can go to the library, prepare your lessons and think about this morning’s class, is there something wrong or whether you can improve your teaching skills? Lunch time runs until around 2:30pm.

3: Office hours

Your afternoon classes will be until about 4 or 4:30pm and will generally vary. During office hours, you are free to prepare your lessons and are generally not monitored so if you've prepared everything well you can surf the internet, or chat with other teachers. Sometimes you also can hold your class in the playground and do some team activities. These activities can improve the relationship between you and students. In addition, it can stimulate students’ creativity; make your class different and interesting. During office time you can get a lot done, as long as you love it and have benefits for the students. 2 and a half hours later you can head back home and your working day is over! 

4: Enjoy your own time in the evenings and weekends 

After finishing your afternoon’s class (usually at 4:30 pm), you have your own time again. You can go to the local restaurant enjoy the traditional Chinese food; go to the bar or karaoke with your friends; go to the theater to watch Chinese traditional show. Once you've had an enjoyable evening, whether dancing, going out, walking in the tranquility of the parks or shopping, you will head home to sleep ready for an adventurous weekend or another fun day at the school. 

5: Every Monday morning have a raise flag ceremony

Every Monday morning you have to get up a little earlier to join in the raise flag ceremony. You usually need to get up half an hour earlier than usual. It is a very famous tradition in China.

 



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