My last few weeks at Lanling Middle School have been interesting. I designed lessons that would be more fun for the students as they deal with the stress of finals- writing in cursive, word posters, writing stories, a festival from Peru, summary of the American public education system, and I taught my best class how to understand and use west coast slang. 

We had a QA time at the end of lessons. The students asked basic questions, such as “How old are you?”, “What will you do in the USA?”, “Do you like China?”, “Do you like food in China?”, “How many people are in your family?”etc. and some of the braver students asked these questions – “If I go to the USA in 10 years, can I take you out for dinner?”, “Can I have your phone number?”, “Can we meet your boyfriend?”, “Which is your favorite class?”, and “Who is your favorite student?”. 

June 15-19, we have our final lessons. Some classes were easy to say good-bye, but I had trouble closing the lesson with the students, and some students didn’t even want to leave the classroom. I asked the students to write about anything they wanted to as their last bell work assignment, and one question on their final exam was to write anything they wanted to. I was eager to read what my favorite class had written. It was a mix of “I will miss you”, “I love you”, “Thank you”, “It’s hot today”, and “I like to play computer games/table tennis”. 

I managed to stay happy while reading these. I think I was in denial about the closing of the term. It was when I was organizing the class on June 17 that I became emotional after sorting through old assignments, and found the Christmas trees my favorite class made in December. I experienced a flood of memories of all the fun and happy days we had together.

The year at my school was amazing. I was able to learn a lot from the other teachers, and learn from the students. This year has allowed me to develop skills necessary to be a successful educator. I do not want to leave my school, or China, and I hope to return soon.