Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My new job at Hoppy Palace in Hong Kong

Make your own "hoppy frog" by clicking here.

I've heard nothing from the University positions I've applied for (to supplement our missionary salary) so I have begun teacher training at the Hong Kong "Hoppy Palace" Phonics Center as an English phonics tutor for these impossibly cute little Chinese kids whose parents harbor high hopes for their children's academic futures.

This is an unanticipated change of career at this point in my life, but our Wisconsin house languishes, still unsold, and this experience should provide some fascinating glimpses into 3-year old Cantonese minds. (The students range in age from barely two to the advanced levels who are six or even seven years old)

My first training experience was with a group of four 2 - 3 year olds: Arthur, who wanted to sleep, Janie, a tiny little girl who shocked me by whispering in complete English sentences, Bo-hai who gave reluctant, but correct answers when asked to distinguish the word-cards "policeman" from "fireman" and Ling, who just wanted to play, until he realized that wasn't an option, then started loudly lobbying for a snack from the snack cabinet.

Classes are one hour long, there is no break between groups of students, the students are all at different places in their workbooks (yes, they have a rigid system of phonics workbooks to be completed), and the teacher (soon to be me) is expected to complete thorough progress notes to be handed to the parents after each and every session.

Can I really do this? My "teaching teacher" is at least two decades younger than I.

One thing, though, I can't wait to get my official "Hoppy Palace" business card printed up.

(Business cards are a big deal here in Hong Kong, absolutely everyone who is anyone has them)

I go in for another training session this afternoon.

Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?"
He said to him, "Yes Lord, you know that I love you."
Jesus said to him, "Feed my lambs."
dialogue quoted in the Gospel of John 28:15

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