Nanshan Bilingual School

November 12, 2009

This is a first view of the school where I teach/help teach first, sixth, and seventh grade. I’ve been shy about carrying my camera around and am certainly not at the point where I feel like I can bring it to class, so these are just some basic shots of the place.

Hopeful Enterprise

It’s rained all day today. This is the lower school in their many-colored ponchos tramping off to the cafeteria for lunch.

Hopeful Enterprise

The first- and second-grade building. Classrooms are just off this open-air interior area. On the wall inside every classroom it also says “LAY A FOUNDATION FOR EACH CHILD’S HAPPY LIFE” which, there’s no other way to say it, is heartbreaking.

Hopeful Enterprise

First and second grade at recess, doing laps. Really more like shuffling in their coats around the playground. One first-grade teacher has her class sit at their desks when recess starts and for five minutes they massage their eyelids and temples with their fingers. I have no idea what this is all about—it’s the scary teacher who’s got her class totally whipped into shape but who also shouts at the kids the most.

Hopeful Enterprise

Over the course of the two-week class cycle, I see more than 1,350 students in 21 different classes across 3 grades. So I have no idea who these kids are or if they’re in one of my classes.

Hopeful Enterprise

Started to get cold in Nanshan in November. This is actually a baby, not a student.

Hopeful Enterprise

This is Luan Qing Fang, one of the Chinese lower-school English teachers. (This awkward phrase is to distinguish Chinese teachers of English from Chinese teachers of other subjects, and from non-Chinese who teach English (i.e., me).) Lunch hour is 2 hours long and every day in the English office there are two or three teachers taking a nap. The last time I worked at a place where the workers took naps at lunchtime was my summer job at a meat-packing warehouse before I went off to college. Then I sat on top of flattened cardboard boxes and read, now I sit at my desk and practice writing Chinese characters.

Hopeful Enterprise

Just for the hell of it I made a jack o’lantern around Halloween. The teachers took a bunch of pictures and said a lot of things in Chinese. Sadly there were no classes last week dure to midterm exams, so I didn’t get to show it to any students.

  1. Erka —
    Friday, November 13, 2009 :: 11:09 AM

    Kids are adorable! They look like little colorful specs of dots.

    That’s a bummer the students didn’t get to see your jack o’lantern. Boooo! (sad boo, not a scary boo)

  2. Jen Deaderick —
    Friday, November 13, 2009 :: 11:58 PM

    The credo at Rosie’s new school:

    “Be Kind -  Be Responsible -  Be Reflective -  Aim High”

    Just for comparison.

    Her very best new friend in Kindergarten is from China, which I consider a very small tribute to you. Why not?