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My first week as a teacher

September 16, 2006

Today I walked into my Junior High class for the first time and the students immediately launched into a heated discussion in Chinese.  My Chinese may not be anything to brag about, but I understood that they were discussing a favorite topic of all my students: how freakin’ tall Teacher Kaitlin is.  This class wanted to know the exact measurement but no one wanted to ask me in English and I was pretending to be oblivious to what was going on. Finally they elected a smart kid to pose the question but I’m afraid my answer wasn’t very satisfying since I always forget the metric number.  Maybe I’ll figure it out and tell them next week.

Congratulate me, because that class was the third one in a row that didn’t make me want to cry.  It’s been a bit of a rough week, but there’s no other way to learn to teach than to do it.  It’s getting better, slowly but surely. 

I did have one awful class on Thursday night.  It put me over the edge for a while. Suddenly all these little things about Taiwan that hadn’t been bothering me much at all, like the ants in my apartment and the dirty air, seemed like too much to handle for a whole year, much less longer than that.

Fortunately, the next day I had some more training in Taipei.  The training itself wasn’t much fun, but it was nice to catch up with my fellow trainees who have all been going through the same things this week.  Afterwards, we all went out to T.G.I. Friday’s.  I hadn’t really been pining away for a western dinner, since as I said I love the food here, but it was comforting nonetheless.

So I got over that little mini-depression and am still enjoying myself in Taiwan, but I might be a little more cautious of the “honeymoon phase” of my time here.  There will be ups and downs, no matter how long I stay.

Coming next… my day off!

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