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Friday, August 31, 2007

First teaching experiences

Foreign Expert @ Yunnan University, School of Economics

It finally happened... Last Wednesday I started my teaching "career". My first class was at Yangpu campus, a 40 minute bus ride from where I live. The topic of the class was "Theory and Practice of Multinational and was supposed to last for 3 hours (in China also known as 3x 45 minutes...). And they don't do what you call small classes here. 45 pair of eyes were staring at me, all wondering what that strange, tall foreigner was going to say. But I have to admit, everything went quite well :-) No unexpected things happened, I didn't make any embarrassing mistakes and I even liked it!

The Thursday was more of the same although this time I had to deal with senior (4th year bachelor) students and I could just cross the street to the main campus instead of bussing to Yangpu. Did my two classes (3 hours each) for the day and left again with a happy feeling! The pictures you see are from the main campus and this is definitely one of the more beautiful and quiet spots in Kunming!!

(the building on the bottom right is called "Huize Hall" and is the original main building of Yunnan University. Do I sense some Dutch influence in Kunming?!)

Today I had the same students as on Wednesday so at least I won't have to remember that many names... Again everything went without surprises, so I can conclude that my first week was a "success"!! :-)

Of course there are many differences between Chinese students and i.e. Dutch students and I will have to get used to them. The main difference is that they do not speak up when you ask questions even when they know the answer. I keep stressing that they will be graded on participation, but that doesn't seem to affect them. Hopefully they will become somewhat more reactive (or even proactive) after a couple of weeks.
They also had two tips for me: talk slower and write more clearly... Good to know!

Houdoe,
Meester Ruud

1 comment:

Judith said...

Hey ruudje! Ik zie het helemaal voor me hoor, jij voor de klas! :) Fijn dat het allemaal goed is gegaan. En misschien is het voordeel van die afwachtende studenten dat ze je ook niet snel tegen zullen spreken!?
Gaat alles nog goed met Mark? Die zal wel in Laos zitten nu of niet? Al aan DE Experience begonnen? ;)
kus, Judith

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