Step one: Say everything you are going to do.
Step two: Do the complete opposite.
Step three: Don’t tell the foreign teachers.
Step four: Profit. (Somebody always profits).
I work 27 classes a week, spread across a 25 Junior Two/3 Junior One ratio. By this logic I should have most of my work interactions with the Junior Two department. If anything is to change at the school, then a veritable team of teachers and leaders employed alongside me should be able to inform me of said discussions, yes?
If you ever work in China, be prepared to redefine the word ‘communication’.
Usually communication means two parties exchanging or imparting information/news/ideas and so forth.
In China communication is….well…it’s…
We’ve recently had our timetable configured to the ‘summer’ plan. The change now means I start classes at 7:45am, and finish my days at 6pm. This started after our short holiday celebrating May Day (of which another post will be about). I know all of this because I was informed of this time change by one teacher from Junior One, not Two, as I would have expected. And I was informed, by China standards, on time.
Now there is such a thing called time in China. I affectionately label it as ‘last minute for everything’ time. Everything you think is important will be told to you. Just at the last possible second of its conception.
So my short lesson here is: when dealing with China, be prepared to have every conceivable Plan A you could possibly make thrown out the window, along with Plan B, Step Five and Preparation H. You must be able to adjust to this new ‘rush’ rather quickly, as China doesn’t care about that evening coffee you wanted with your friends, or your hair appointment, or if your fish needs watering. China wants everything done on its time, whether you can keep up or not is another story.