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China SST

Back in Guang’an: SSTers in the classroom and a visit to New Hope Deaf Training Center

The SSTers teaching in Guang’an are in their groove. Although their teaching schedules are changing from week to week, their work in the classroom has become almost routine. They are preparing lessons and working with students at various grade levels at Friendship Middle School’s upper and lower grades. They still teach a good number of evening classes, but are now also teaching morning (as early as 7:50 am) and afternoon time slots.

Visiting SSTers in Guang'an

On October 27 we visited the SSTers who teach at Friendship Middle School in Guang’an. Friendship is an institution with a strong reputation for academics. The school is also well funded, as evinced by the touch screen smart boards in every classroom. The school has two campuses, one for lower middle school (grades 7-9) and one for upper middle school (grades 10-12). The campuses are a thirty minute (brisk) walk apart. Angeliky and Vince teach at both campuses, while the other four SSTers teach only on the upper middle school campus. Despite having two campuses, the school still faces classroom space constraints and so evening classes are a regular part of the school schedule. A large chunk of the SST teaching blocks are in the evenings, although they also have some morning and afternoon classes. A few Saturday review classes round out the schedules of some teaching pairs.

Teaching English in Yilong and Langzhong

On October 23 and 24 we visited the SST teaching groups in the cities of Yilong and Langzhong. In Yilong we were able to sit in on four classes at Virtue Middle School and saw all of the student teaching pairs in action. We were impressed. Classes in Yilong are large, with 60 to 80 students in a room. The material the SSTers teach varies from class to class since they are teaching different grade levels (with different curricula) and language ability varies within each class.