So in general I may be happier. The kids are still putting a massive smile on my face, I’m still considering either coming back for a second year or going home to study teaching, and I won’t ever regret coming to China. This doesn’t mean, however, that I’ve been able to completely leave behind my worrying ways.
On thursday I’m having my teaching observed by one of my programme coordinators. In theory there isn’t anything to worry about. I taught the same lesson once already to my Monday 6th grade class, and it went fine, although it was a little short. My kids have already been told that they need to be on their best behaviour, and really the observation is for my own good, giving me pointers and suggestions to help with my teaching. Logically, I have nothing to worry about. Last night, however, I spent the entire night tossing and turning, having nightmares about lesson plans and observations and failure. Every now and then my dreams would provide me with something I thought I could use, and I would be like “Ok, I’ve got that sorted, now let’s get some real sleep,” only to stir from sleep another half hour later with the same dreams. They weren’t even providing anything useful! I remember going down a long white corridor… Pretty sure it was my sleep muddled brain just making weird excuses for that being a valid lesson plan haha.
Anyways, I need to find a way to relax. Although I love my job here, it’s obviously stressing me out more than I had realised, and I need to get on top of that. I want to start planning my lessons further in advance, making them longer so I won’t run out of activities, using some of my own topics rather than just teaching topics from their textbook, creating some continuity between lessons… I’m sure that if I dedicated myself to this job 100% I could be an outstanding teacher. And I do want to be a good teacher. However, I’m in China, and I want to spend some time making the most of my time here too. I also want to be able to keep up to date with my favourite tv shows, keep in touch with friends back home, have some relax time, keep my dorm clean, be able to read enough that I can stay afloat in the book club I’ve joined, keep going to Chinese classes and have time to study too… I love it, but life here can get a little hectic if I let it… Just this weekend I have a halloween party, a lesson brainstorming meeting, an invitation to go mountain climbing, and lesson plans for 6 grades to write… Alongside daily chores like cooking, doing laundry, going to the supermarket… All of which takes up time!
What I really need is better time management skills and the self control to get into a good, productive routine.