These are the last 3 days of my living in Tokaj.
I still clearly remember the first day I came here. I felt so lucky that I would live here for one year, rather than just few days as a tourist. But now I find out that one year doesn’t mean forever, and it’s time to say goodbye.
The first time I entered my room, I was so happy to have such a lovely room, not big, but contains all the necessities I need. For the first couple of days I couldn’t go to bed before saying “I loooooove this place.” to myself.
Before having the first lesson, Ms Ildiko took me to a trip around Tokaj. I was really stunned by the natural beauty here, as well as the delicious fruits. I just couldn’t help smiling all the time. I keep telling her that I’m defiantly sure that I’m the luckiest one among all the Chinese teachers in Hungary, which was proved exactly true by this one-year-time.
This teaching experience is unique to me. As I was the only Chinese teacher in the school, everything is literally on my own and up to myself. It’s a pretty big challenge for me because nobody can tell me what to do. However, without those complicated rules and regulations, I was able to try every idea in teaching. So the kids can get knowledge as well as fun at the same time. I designed a lot of practicing games for them, they proved to be working well. And by teaching in this way, I can see my own imperfection clearly. I learned a lot myself in this teaching year.
I have a lot of lovely students. It’s so lucky to have them at my first teaching experience abroad. Their curiosity, vitality and hard-working gave me so much courage and confidence in teaching. I used to doubt if I really love being a Chinese teacher or if I have the ability to become a good teacher. Now although there is still a very long way for me as a new teacher to go to become a real qualified good teacher, I have this confident to say that I may become one if I keep doing this. Every one of my students has very unique personality, which makes those classes so interesting. It’s always very enjoyable to play language games together, to see them making great progress in reading characters and to see their smile when they get high mark in tests. After 9 months learning, many of them can speak a lot of basic expressions in Chinese as well as reading and writing Chinese characters. One of them has passed HSK 1 with a very high mark, and other 3 girls did a great job in the Chinese Bridge Competition. I always hope that they can gain not only knowledge of China and Chinese language, but also confidence to face challenge and faith in themselves. I will miss so much the time we spent together. At the very end of this school year, I find many students have grown much taller than the first time we meet. How I wish I could stay longer and see them grow up and graduate from this school. I hope this year with Chinese lessons could stay in their memory.
I will never forget the teaching staff I met in Tokaj as well. It’s such a wonderful thing to see so many loving people working together, with a very harmonious atmosphere. They are always friendly and helpful. As an inexperienced new teacher, I was pretty nervous before my first lesson in TFG. But Ms Ildiko said: ”I’m sure that you will have a successful lesson.” A simple sentence released me a lot, and I did have done a good job at my first lesson. And all the English teachers had helped me a lot in translating materials like my students questionnaires and so on. They never let me feel lonely in Tokaj. It’s so kind of them to invite me to all kinds of programs and trips. I’ll never forget the dinners I had in their homes, the wine I tasted with them, the concerts we admired together. These made my life this year more colorful! I’m so lucky to make so many local friends here. Indeed I feel I’m the luckiest one among all the Chinese teachers in Hungary.
I have got nothing to complain about here. I just want to say thanks to everyone I met in Tokaj. Thank you all for giving me such a wonderful year! I will miss you always!!
Tan Jiani (Janny) August 2014