But again, my class monitors and the other teachers keep stepping for me and I feel that I'm not actually holding my own in the classroom. I want to establish myself as the person in charge and I'm printing out seating charts to better understand how the school's points and rule system works so I can use it in class. I think the students would feel better with a system they already know and it would save me from the troubles I'm having now.
I'm also going to observe more of the English teachers. I've only observed one and not only have I borrowed some of his procedures, but it also showed me the power of procedure. When I work with his classes and ask them "Yes or no?" they understand that right away because he regularly poses statements to them in English and asks them that. If I try it with the other classes, it doesn't come up as readily. That and I have to make a bigger effort to connect with the other teachers. I wish I could be in the loop more, but part of the reason I'm here is because I'm a native English speaker. A little weird to think of what that has opened up for me at times, to be in such a privileged position. Simultaneously, I'm in a position to share something that has done a lot for me: teaching and using a foreign language. I realize not everyone is going to be in love with English, but I also know that on a very practical level it grants you a lot of possibilities. Also, I've definitely heard some of these kids use the Japanese they picked up from watching anime so if nothing else they can use cartoons. I just hesitate to do so since I'd rather they spoke.
I heard I'll be getting my passport and permit back soon and I'm really excited. I'm nervous for next week's observation since I know I'm not doing too well, but at the same time, I really need the help. I've only been able to get help through his emails and I'm kind of nervous about being observed by the other teachers since the nature of my class is different from other more traditionally taught classes. I'm hoping I'll have my powerpoint clicker by then so I can circulate around the classroom more and demand student attention and better get my penalty cards out. That's the one thing that's driven me crazy, is seeing how something as simple as circulating around the room changes things and not being able to do it easily since I have to go back to my computer at the front or walk up to the board to do something and continue with the lesson. And all I can think about is how bad I am with discipline and classroom management, the way the other teachers look at me, and the times when someone has come up and told me the other foreign teacher has more experience (which hurts a little sometimes since we had the same training). Today I went home and felt like crying, but as usual nothing comes out. So I went across the street to buy some stuff for hot milk tea since it rained today.
Also, I can't believe we're nearing the end of October and I'm still answering my students questions about whether or not I have a boyfriend. I thought I made it clear I wasn't going to answer questions about that, but my evasiveness just made it obvious I don't have one so one of my students is now asking why I don't. Another says I must tell her if I have a boyfriend because we are friends. Which is true, but I'm also her teacher and she doesn't have to know everything about me. Unfortunately, they saw me talking with their other English teacher (who is male and relatively young though I don't actually know how old he is, just that he started here this year and previously taught Chinese to foreigners) and started talking amongst themselves. I bet it looked more romantic with the language barrier and the fact that we both had to dress nicely that day for different reasons. The actual conversation was an extension of our usual "Hi, how are you? Tired?" "Yes, are you?" "Yes, very tired." "OK, I have to go to class now" "OK Bye". It was exactly like that except that I had time to ask him about Chinese lessons and he had time to say he couldn't say until November because he was too busy. Then I had to go to class and he had to judge a debate. Not terribly romantic, girls. Also, it's pretty natural for English teachers to talk to each other about their classes. I need to know where you're at in the book and what I can expect you to know.
And I finally got my QQ number a month later (a big social media site here). But no one knows or remembers my password and I was told to go online and request a new password myself. And I tried and thought I had it, but the number I was texting for it has not responded in over a day so I'll have to try again. I got responses within minutes before though so I don't know what's going on. In the meantime, my students are laughing because my Chinese is good enough to say I have QQ but don't know my password. Which is awful because I want to communicate with them as much as possible. My students are the primary reason I wanted the QQ account and I'd rather give them that than my phone number. It's just hard for me to go through everything in Chinese when I really don't understand an account I never had the chance to access before the password was lost. That's been the hardest part for me: knowing that somewhere out there is a password I never received so I can't even say I have some idea of what my old one was. I don't even know what phone number it was registered to. It might not even be going through my phone number since one just gets a response saying it's the wrong phone and another just doesn't get any response at all. It might be registered to my friend's phone at the moment. I think I'll have to figure out Taobao on my own as well for my powerpoint clicker and an air filter for the winter. I've heard the air can be a little harder to breathe here when it's cold out since it just sits there instead of moving around.