zài jiàn Shuangdao

These were my grade 2 students.  Classes 1 to 4 (generally six or seven classes of 50 students per grade).  They were my favourite.  You can imagine how annoyed I was when my manager gave these classes to another teacher,  for the last month of my contract. All so that I could teach Kindergarten instead.

I gave names to roughly 90% of these students, in addition to another 200 grade 4 students.  At the beginning of every class for the last two or three months, I would call out each students’ name and they had to go up and write it on the board (not only did I make them remember their name, but they also had to learn how to spell it).  This was my goal: for each student of mine to have an English name.  Otherwise, if you ask a kid their name and they don’t have an English one, they just stare at you blankly.

I let students choose their name from a list of 30 I wrote on the blackboard (from my original list of the 100 most popular boy and girl baby names in 2010+character’s names from the Office+family members-the most commonly used English names in China {Caitlin, Amy, Alice, Jack, Peter}).

I tried making a point of using uncommon names [Eli, Diego, Chase, Cooper, Caleb, Cole, Wyatt, Liam].

I was quite pleased when students would choose ones with three syllables [ Madelyn, Makayla, Mackenzie, Alayna, Aaliyah, Alexis]

I ended up with a surprising amount of Larrys. It’s one of the only names with an “r” which the students could properly pronounce.  The Dwights and Creeds always make me laugh too.

Portraits of Lucy, Micheal (these two not named by me), and Connor/Hannah (he liked both names so he has two {he took Hannah from the girl’s list}). They’re among my favourites.  Lucy would wine and pout if she didn’t get her way.  I loved it, so overly acted.  Micheal was the student who, when in grade 1, wouldn’t listen at all and when I tried to correct his behaviour, litterally drooled and spat into his English book.  This year when we met again, he was in love with English.

As much as we complain about working at this school, it was sad to say goodbye.  I taught many of them two years in a row.  Hopefully I will run into some of them again.  It’s always fun seeing old students.  Especially after puberty. It’s hilarious having taught a little boy and seeing him again later once he’s a man.

Anyways… Goodbye Shuangdao. I hope to never hear your song again.



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