I arrived home a couple days ago, and it is really difficult adjusting back to my old life. Not only because the weather is 35 degrees colder, but it just seems so strange being home. I am so thankful that we have this week to rest up before we start our practicum, I think this is much needed to time to prepare and adjust. It feels so strange to only speak English in my everyday life, I miss trying to speak broken Chinese to store clerks, servers, and random people alike. I have decided that I want to put the effort in to continue learning Chinese. We finished our HSK 1 while we were in China and I want to keep progressing on my own. It is still hard for me to believe I am home, and my TAB experience is over.
Looking back on my experience, I have nothing but amazing things to say. It’s so funny to think that 3 months ago I was very nervous to move to China, and had no idea what to expect. I must say all, China exceeded my expectations in every way. The people were absolutely amazing, they were always so helpful and welcoming, it made me realize how we should be more welcoming to foreigners in Canada. The country itself is so beautiful and rich in history, I am so happy I was able to immerse myself in their culture for a few months.
Teaching in China was a great learning experience. I think that being thrown into a classroom with 50 grade 7 students who can barely speak English, really helped my classroom management skills. It also helped learn different strategies for teaching ELL students difficult content. Having the opportunity to also teach at the high school level was another great experience. I also really enjoyed tutoring many of my friends in English, it helped me realize that I really do have a passion for teaching.
This was such a wonderful learning experience professionally and personally. I would strongly recommend other students get involved with TAB because it is such a unique opportunity. I know it seems like a lot of work to uproot yourself from your comfortable lifestyle and move away for 2.5 months…. but it is an amazing experience you will never forget.