By the time Frank and I arrived in Bennui, a small town in Jiangsu Province China, the final draft of our book The Little Red Book Teaching ESL in China was at the publishers. The experiences and strategies I learnt at this senior middle school could have filled another chapter.
My days in Benniu were filled with English conversation, reading, writing and listening classes. I shared my lesson planning and curriculum development with three other foreign teachers. I learnt a great deal from them including the consequences of putting my foot in my mouth, once too often. I’ll share that story with you another time. Frank's days were used in full retirement by venturing out to the nearest massive city. He explored there and made good friends.
Surrounded by my students, as in all the schools I had taught, was fantastic and offered great rewards. The enthusiasm of the young people and their kindness to me were sometimes overshadowed by the politics of the Chinese education system. Although the schedule and general curriculum were dictated by the school head master, using songs to teach the English language often enhanced our teaching capabilities. The students enjoyed the break from rote learning in their other classes.
We were often entertained throughout the year by attending music events put on by the teachers to promote their students’ talents. One of those occasions was a show where a group of fine boys sang
Being among young ones makes me feel young again.