+ I have officially co-taught with all my teachers this week! It’s been a strange balancing act, trying to figure out how to fulfill the expectations of the “fun” English teaching assistant while also building critical English skills. I know how to be a good teacher, but I don’t know how to be a good English teaching assistant from America. Without any training in teaching English as a second language, I’m going into this program blindly. It’s difficult to be the fun teacher while acknowledging the reality that these kids have exams that are crucial to their future career paths, but minimal time to learn the skills necessary to get a high mark because there’s literally a major holiday every month.

But! At the end of one of my classes, one of the teachers told me that I was exactly what she was looking for!! She said that out of all three American teachers that have been in this school, I am the only one who actually teaches. She also kept my lesson plan, which was a :”) moment.

My mentor teacher then complimented me at dinner, saying that in the two days I’ve been with her class, she can see wonderful progress in the kids’ English skills (but really, I think it’s just making the rather stifling classroom a space for kids to feel comfortable using their English around me). She also compared me to the other two American teachers, praising me for being able to keep the kids on track with their curriculum, which the other two didn’t succeed as much in doing.
Validation is nice!!!

+ My mentor teacher pointed out one of my Form 4 students the first day I came into her class. She said that whenever she teaches, he is incredibly disengaged, to the point of falling asleep. But when I walk in, his eyes “light up” and despite being at a different level from half of the class in terms of comfort with speaking English, he pushes himself to be brave and practice his English out loud in front of the class. It’s so precious and pure to watch him get really into my rather simple activities, really collaborating with his other classmates trying to write complex sentences.

“He’s really trying to impress you, you know?”

+ I went to the night market the other day by our house and ugh, I was overwhelmed and so happy to see these rows of chow kuey teow in newspaper cones and fried everythings on sticks. How would one describe the sensation of night markets?


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