Hu Pu Elementary School
2016-2017 ETAs: Jackie Leong <firstname.lastname@example.org>; Destinee Gwee <email@example.com>
Location: Jin Ning Township; near Hu Xia on the western side of Kinmen, a small village close to the beach.
Commute: Short - about a 5-10 minute scooter ride from downtown Jincheng.
Resources: You can view the 2016-17 Hu Pu video, “Hu Pu [We Love You],” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLGc4eSYvRk&feature=youtu.be for a preview of life teaching at Hu Pu!
Teaching: ETAs lesson plan on their own. The majority of classes are solo-taught, though a homeroom teacher or tidayi might be present in the back of the room. In the 2016-2017 academic year, ETAs taught approximately 16 classes per week.
Classes fall into 3 categories: Life English, English Subject, and regular curriculum. A huge majority of ETA classes are completely up to the ETA to decide; these free blocks are marked “Life English,” and while there may be guidelines as to what you could teach, it’s ultimately up to whatever you want to teach and do. Have fun! Hu Pu is able to reimburse (reasonable!) costs of supplies, which is something to keep in mind. Last year, ETAs had heavy involvement in particular classes (Destinee—5 2nd grade classes; Jackie—8 1st grade classes) which allows the planning of bigger long-term lessons or projects that culminate in something fun.
As an aspiring bilingual school, one of Hu Pu’s unique traits is that ETAs can teach subject classes. In 2016-17, that class was “Science,” a supplemental English Science course, taught by one ETA (Jackie) to grades 3-6. For Science, the school expects your curriculum to somewhat match the Chinese science course, and provides the Chinese textbooks for reference. For 2016-17 Science, the Chinese science units served as a guide, but the ETA ultimately decided to develop their own curriculum with different activities and lessons that were still related to the unit in general, with a more conceptual Q/A-style teaching than regular drilling. Hu Pu did commission an English Science curriculum from one of its old English teachers who just moved to Taichung to teach, so Science English may very well be different in 2017-18. If you teach Science this year, definitely feel free to contact Jackie. She can help you get started!
Some classes do involve required curriculum. 2016-2017 marked Hu Pu’s second use of “Let’s Talk,” a simple curriculum where students learn a new 2-3 sentence dialogue every 2 weeks. Younger students may have phonics courses as well, though you can teach that however you like. Teaching, on the whole, is very much what you want to do at Hu Pu.
Average Class Size: Small - largest 2016-17 class was 14 students while the smallest was 6 students. The preschool classes may have 20-30 students each, though those are ultimately not the same as Life English-type classes and are only 1-2 times a week. These numbers for 2017-18 may be a bit larger than in the past.
Co-Teachers: Most classes, being solo, will not have a “co-teacher” proper, but teachers are pretty willing to work with you if you have a project or activity you think you’ll need help with. Definitely approach the zhu ren (Rick) or administrator (Adrienne) with anything you need. Occasionally, you’ll also be the assistant teacher in one of the “real” English classes, but you won’t need to really plan for those as much, as they follow the textbook.
In 2015-2016, Hu Pu began to transition into a bilingual school. In 2016-17, that transition became more marked, and it is now a prominent advertised feature of the school. It is therefore very centered on English learning, and a lot of the students are quite good at English—talk to them! You will have plenty of opportunities to play with the kids in between classes, after lunch, and after school. Being that it is such a small school, everyone gets to know each other pretty well in no time. Both 2016-17 ETAs made lasting friendships with other teachers that they treasure and carry beyond Fulbright.
Hu Pu celebrates different English holidays including Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, and has English activities (either during part of the school day or on a Saturday) that ETAs help plan and carry out. For instance, ETAs might teach a dance to a class or two for graduation or holiday events. ETAs are able to plan and go on field trips with students in order to practice English outside the classroom—if you have an idea, just ask!