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I’ve successfully stumbled my way into Week 5. The weeks are passing faster and faster. It’s been seven days, but it feels like the last time I wrote a blog post was just two days ago. This week’s topic was sports and the most popular ones among the students were definitely basketball and ping pong. Although the lessons were already pretty interesting for them, since they liked the topic, I wish we had the time/conditions to actually demonstrate the sports for them. How fun would it have been for my partner Eric to play basketball with them, for Gianni to teach them how to spike a volleyball, and for me to show them how to kick a soccer ball! Nevertheless, we are making the most of the online platform. We showed them scenes from our favorite movies and shows, and I think they really enjoy them. Whether it be describing an intelligent golden retriever scoring a basketball point, or penguins surfing at the beach, the students were engaged and interested (I hope). My teaching partners and I also played Pictionary with most of our classes, and I think the students liked seeing us fail miserably at drawing soccer players and tennis rackets. They were good guessers though, some of our drawings were extremely questionable.

A picture of a Pictionary game from Week 3. Our drawings (mine, Eric’s, and Hsiao-mei’s) were beautiful.

I added more pictures and videos to some of my lessons because of the feedback we received at the beginning of the week. After the first day of teaching, I noticed that students were having trouble with some activities my partners and I had planned in our lessons. A lot of the terminology used during sports games like “offense” and “defense” was completely unfamiliar to them, so expecting them to use those words in sentences was definitely going to be too hard. So after taking into account the abnormal amount of awkward pauses during that particular activity, along with some feedback from the teachers, we changed our lesson plans accordingly. I think the students liked looking and watching a lot more than reading anyways.

In a previous blog, I mentioned that I might start experiencing zoom fatigue or give in to various “temptations”, but to my surprise, I feel fine, wonderful even. Unlike some of my other teaching partners, I don’t have other important responsibilities during the day like taking summer classes or volunteering. This has its positives and negatives. On one hand, I think I am less tired and have more energy saved up to greet our students at night. Yet, on the other hand, I’m quite bored during the day. This makes the time I spend with the Zhuhai students even more fun, exciting, and meaningful. Even if I’m feeling a bit down before lessons start, I know that at 10:30 PM, when my classes are done, I will be pumped and ready to take on another day. I’ve always enjoyed teaching, tutoring, and coaching. It’s one of the reasons why I applied for the Zhuhai program, but I wasn’t sure it was something I will do in the future as well. Even now, I’m still trying to find what I truly want to do and what I want to major in, but this program has taught me so much about teamwork and teaching. I’ve learned a lot from my teaching partners about compromise, active listening, and enthusiasm. I really enjoy my time teaching, especially with my teaching partners. The next four weeks are about to be a blast!