Wednesday, 25 March 2009

J is for Juniors

These photos are of my Junior 2 students at their New Year's Eve parties. Junior 2 students are 13-14, and most have quite a basic grasp of English, although there are some who receive outside tutoring who are very good. An average class size is 75 students, and a single period is 40 minutes. I generally play word games with them, as there are so many students that I can't possibly speak to each one during class.
As well as going to school all day Monday to Saturday and Sunday morning, many of the children also take classes in dancing, Beijing opera (below) and music. Their timetables are so intense that few have time for 'hanging out' Western style, but if they do have free they will generally spend in playing computer games obsessively.

These photos are of my most difficult (sorry, should that be 'most challenging') class. I feel that teaching them could be a good preparation for zoo keeping. If I class ever goes well, I feel incredibly accomplished, but more often their behaviour means that between telling them to be quiet, stop throwing things and stop hitting people we normally accomplish half the activities that I do with my other Junior classes.
Some of them don't even mean to behave badly, they just literally cannot control themselves and seem incapable of even sitting in a chair without falling off it. I suspect some of them might have problems like dyslexia or ADD, which are as yet unheard of in China. However, some of them are also just troublemakers happy to take advantage of the fact the school is unwilling to back us up with disciplinary issues.
A little light pyromania anyone? At least I haven't had any of my students try and set fire to their classmates as one of my friends has.

This is one of the students with better English. He is a complete motormouth, but quite a sweet boy underneath it all.

This boy had bought in lollipops for the class and took the responsibility of handing them out very seriously.

Visit other abc wednesdays.


  1. So, basically Chinese students are no different than other students.
    Good luck with them.

  2. I think that the main differences between Chinese and Western students is that they are under a lot more pressure from a much younger age, and tend to act a lot younger too. Fourteen year olds here tend to behave more like 10 years old 'at home', and this trend is even true with university age students.

  3. Wow, a class of 75! You must love what you do, or have some staying power girl! Love hearing your thoughts about it all though. Great post x

  4. With classes that large, I don't know how you keep any of them in line.
    Somehow I assumed Chinese students would be better behaved and more disciplined than our American kids...
    Doesn't sound like that's the case at all!

  5. Wow, what a job that must be..I'm sure I wouldn't be good at it at all! Good for you!

  6. I enjoy reading about your adventures in China. Good choice for "J"