Wednesday, August 17, 2011

It is decided! (a.k.a. placement part II)

Well folks, Monday was the moment of truth for the Yilan county's ETAs: the program managers finally announced which school(s) we would be teaching at for the next 10 months. And, lucky me, I got my first choice! I'll be teaching at two different schools this year: 北成國小 (Pei-Cheng Elementary) and 東興國小 (Dong Sing Elementary). 
The big reveal!
Both schools are in Luodong Township, which is about a 20 minute train ride south of Yilan City, so I'll be moving into an apartment down there at the end of the month. I'm very excited because I think both schools will be a great fit for me and my interests and, since one is a huge school in the city (Pei-Cheng) and the other is relatively small and a little more rural, working in both places will give me a unique opportunity to get to know the Taiwanese school system a little better.
Newman from Pei-Cheng and Siena from Dong Sing
Siena, my LET (Local English Teacher) for Dong Sing, is very nice and she's big into environmental education and using outdoor activities to teach. I'm thinking a game of red rover is in order! The only thing I'm a little bit nervous about is getting there everyday. It's too far from my apartment to walk or ride a bike, so I'll have to get a scooter and drive out there twice a week. So I've got my fingers crossed that I can pass the scooter test and get my license next week!
Dong Sing Elementary
I have yet to meet David, my LET for Pei-Cheng, but the school has sent two other teachers, Newman and Tolisa, to meet me and attend this week's orientation activities. They've both been awesome, so I take that to be a good sign. And the school has a ton of great facilities, including a television studio and a huge swimming pool in the basement (all the kids there take swimming lessons)! The school also has a Chinese calligraphy club that I'm allowed to join and art is one of the subjects the school as a whole places an emphasis on.
The float the school made for the Luodong Ghost Month parade (see last post for more info)
In short, my schools rock and I'm pumped to start the school year!

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