Teaching in a resort

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November 17th 2008
Published: January 4th 2009
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Hallowe'en Party at schoolHallowe'en Party at schoolHallowe'en Party at school

What a blast! Most of the teachers and many students ( over 600 ) attended our Hallowe'en party . MY Drama students organized, built, ran and dismantled our Haunted House. Myself with a few weird friends in our gym.
Life around Maple Leaf International School is quite exciting and intriguing.
Our school, with a student population of over 2400 with over 200 teachers, Chinese and Canadian, is located near the bay with sandy beaches stretching for a number of km. About 1 km from the school is the Discovery Theme Park which is gigantic. Loaded with rides and shows, it was drawing in huge numbers of families over the summer and only closed in October. We enjoyed the rides and a lovley Thanksgiving dinner back in October.

Our school is beside a six lane highway that goes from Majitan( what used to be a relatively small community) to the beach. And I live in the teacher apartments, just across from the school which is quite large and surrounded by fences.

When I was here three years ago, I taught 3 grade 12 classes of about 75 students. This time I have much less marking to do as I am teaching mainly drama to 2 grade 12 classes, 1 grade 11 class and 1 grade 10 class plus English to grade 11 for a total of about 130 students. We have 50 minute classes that start at 7:35 am
 A riot ride near our school. A riot ride near our school. A riot ride near our school.

Just 1/2 km away is Discovery Park, a huge complex with piles of rides and exhibitions. We had a Thanksgiving dinner here as well as jumping on a pile of rides.
and continue through until 4:40 on Monday and 3:40 from Tuesday through Friday.
I teach 24 out of 36 classes weekly. So it is a relatively easy load. The students are terrific. The hardest part of the day is trying to get up and down the stairs and through the doors during our 10 minute break time between classes.

I fill my time here very easily. I try to do a lot of reading- stacks of books and Magazines in my bedroom, living and study. I don't do much cooking as I can eat out at numerous Chinese restaurants quite cheaply. Also a number of Japanese and Korean restaurants around our area. I enjoy cycling or strolling to the market where I can buy all my vegetables and fruits for the equivalent of a few dollars. ( I usually get potatoes, broccoli, onions, carrots, beans, celery/lettuce, apples ( terrific) oranges, wonderful tangerines, bananas, strawberries at times. Bags of stuff for very little and oh so fresh, mostly from this area with their 'hot-houses'.

I also doing a lot of hiking , cycling, walking around this area, the hills, beaches, villages , bigger cities. Kaifaqui Free Development zone,
the Moronic teamthe Moronic teamthe Moronic team

As well as having a bowling league at our 7 lane bowling alley, we have golf competitions several times during the year. Marvellous , picturesque golf course right beside the cliff's edge. We figured we wouldn't win, but we had a whale of a time, dressed up and all.
close to us, has buildings and factories and apartments going up continuously.

Again I am fortunate in that I usually walk quickly and get to school in 30 to 40 seconds. I do spend a lot of time racing up and down the stairs as my staff room where I continue to have the messiest desk area is on the 4th floor in what we call the old building and I teach on the ground floor and on the 2nd, 3rd and 5 floors of the new building.

The area, only a small part of China, is a physical oxymoron- with ultra- modern building, high tech facilities and factories, Japanese, Chinese, Korean and other multinational corporations stretched out along beautiful smooth, well marked roads. In contrast, villages and communities where the donkey and cart and bicycles and old wells can be seen just a short distance off these main roads.

Every day brings new sights, new adventures and new friends.

Additional photos below
Photos: 13, Displayed: 13


Village house by the sea Village house by the sea
Village house by the sea

Our resort /beach area is great for fishing and all kinds of shrimp and other sea creatures, too numerous to mention. Away from the main roads are to be found interesting little villages. In the picture are the bulbs used as floaters to support the growth of seaweed or kelp in the bays along the coast.
Farmers' fields all around.Farmers' fields all around.
Farmers' fields all around.

Even though we are living in a resort area, all around us is the ocean or the farmers' fields. Beautiful vistas stretching to the hills and then more valleys past these hills.
Ladies working the garden patchLadies working the garden patch
Ladies working the garden patch

On a Sunday drive around some of the villages we stopped and chatted with these 2 women who were harvesting some of their crop. They gave us some of their product.
Exercises in colourExercises in colour
Exercises in colour

At morning break, from 9:30 to 10:00, each grade level has tai che exercises. Earlier on I joined the classes and moved smoothly, but not very confidently. Now as it is cooler, I look out at them exercising.
Multi-level singingMulti-level singing
Multi-level singing

The day before Christmas, I and some of my grade 12 drama students swarmed about the school and sang a number of Christmas songs to willing and unwilling students, teachers and admin as we blocked doors and hallways and bellowed out joyful tunes. Here we are singing from the staircase in the old building. Yes, it is all pink and bright!
Christmas blastChristmas blast
Christmas blast

Some of my students as we wind our way through the 3 school buildings - spreading laughter and music. They love to sing and act out and here at the school we have a big audinece! You can notice the school's rather ugly green and yellow uniform.
The Old BuildingThe Old Building
The Old Building

The old building where I spend a lot of my time running down and up stairs. The large picture on the front of the building shows the administrative team.
Stars of the showStars of the show
Stars of the show

Two of my grade 12 drama students who were the hosts of the Christmas party where we had strobe lights, smoke, music, all kinds of dance, bands. A great evening, all organized by the students. These two students and others also helped organize and run speech, poetry, singing ( class and individual) competitions. A very active student body.
Terry Fox Run/walkTerry Fox Run/walk
Terry Fox Run/walk

Students and teachers walking along the main road to the beach back in September during our Terry Fox Run. In the background is part of Majitan.
Terry Fox DayTerry Fox Day
Terry Fox Day

About 2700 students and teachers assembled on the basketball court to prepare for the Terry Fox Walk. We jammed the roads going down to the beach and back on our 2 km walk.

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