Gu Ning Elementary School

2016-2017 ETA:  Amy Bauer <amycbauer92@gmail.com>

Summary: Teaching at Guning is like joining a hard-working family. Building relationships with your co-workers and students make each day rewarding.

Location: Northernmost school in Jinning township, near the twin villages Beishan and Nanshan (also known as Guning Tou).

Commute:Guning is about a 10 minutes drive north from Dingbao and a 15 minute drive from Jincheng.

Resources: A personal desktop computer is given to each ETA to use for lesson planning, as well as an individual cubicle in the office. Classrooms are all equipped with a smart board and connected computer. The office has a laminator, color printers, and office supplies for teacher. There are no restrictions on resources that ETAs can use in the school, and co-workers are happy to help ETAs find supplies they might need at stores outside of school. If you want to plan a special event or project, ask if there is funding available!

Teaching: Guning ETAs have 8 co-teaching classes and 8 solo classes, and ETAs are responsible to develop curriculum for those solo classes. There are two co-teachers at Guning, one for 4-6th grade and one for 3rd grade.

Average class size: Medium – 12

Specialties: While Guning does not have a famous specialty like other schools, they have historically ranked high in reader’s theater and the county-wide field day. The kids here have talent! You’ll soon discover that Kinmen is full of competitions--dance, singing, English, oration, and on and on. Guning kids participate in all of these activities, so there is always some way you can help cheer them on!

Other: Guning Elementary School is a small school situated at the rural northwestern tip of Kinmen. The entire student body is less than one hundred students so you’ll quickly get to know all of the students (even the ones you don’t teach). Kids here are generally enthusiastic about English class, but their level might be slightly lower than some of the bigger schools. Still, they are bright and dedicated enough to compete with Taiwan’s greatest.

The LETs and other faculty here create a really supportive environment, and are always willing to help, especially in the ETA’s critical first few weeks. The ETA at Guning has the freedom to teach anything they want in their solo classes. This is two sided: it’s a great opportunity for someone who is a self-starter excited to prepare a year’s worth of materials alone, but it might be tricky for someone who needs a little more direction.  In addition, they can create extracurricular clubs to share their non-academic passions with the students. Overall, Guning is a wonderful school to be placed at and all former ETAs have had highly valuable and enjoyable experiences here.