Jin Ding Elementary School

2016-2017 ETA:: Becky Lai < beckyylai@gmail.com>

Location: Right in the middle of Dingbao, a suburb located about 7 minutes from Jincheng

Commute: Very Short—Jin Ding is about a 7-10 minute walk from the Dingbao apartment.    

Resources: Jin Ding provides you with a computer that has both English and Chinese capabilities and a cubicle in the office. In 2016-2017, due to limited office space, the ETA shared a cubicle with an LET. The office has a number of printers, both black and white and color, a paper cutter, and other regular office supplies that the ETA can use without restriction. Each classroom has a smartboard, blackboard, computer, and speakers. The exception to this is 2nd grade, which is located in a separate building. Instead of a smartboard, each second grade classroom has a projector and two television screens. The school library is well stocked with a collection of English books and resources. Co-teachers also have a supply of game materials and toys that are available for community use. If you need any materials that aren’t already in the office, just ask!

Teaching: The classes at Jin Ding are mostly co-taught with 2-3 solo classes (5th and 6th grade). At first, it may seem like the ETA does not have a lot of freedom as far as curriculum is concerned, but an active ETA will have no problem contributing to the day-to-day lesson plans. The ETA teaches 7 classes—two 3rd grades and two 4th grades twice a week, two 5th grades, and one 6th grade three times a week—for a total of 17 classes.

Average Class Size: Medium. The smallest class size is 15 students (classes are split in two once they reach 30 students). The largest class in 2016-2017 had 23 students.

Co-teachers: Jin Ding has three LETs: Joy, Joyce, and Charlotte. All three have distinct personalities, but are all very effective and wonderful teachers. They all have great English, several years of experience with the ETA program and are very supportive of the ETA. Co-teaching with them is a cooperative, collaborative, and fun partnership.

Specialties: Jin Ding specializes in Chinese yo-yo and Ukulele. During off periods, be prepared to see things flying through Jin Ding's courtyard. Students will happily show you a few moves. Jin Ding also "specializes" in Reader's Theater. In 2014 they took first and in 2015 took second place. The teachers get very into it and try to help the kids have fun. Reader's Theater is held at Jin Ding.

There are about 160 students in Jin Ding, and you'll learn each and every one of their names in no time. Forming close bonds with students comes naturally, as the students are very welcoming and well known for their excellent behavior both inside and out of the classroom. The students are all multitalented and enthusiastic and their English levels are generally good to high, though there is obvious variety in each class.

Jin Ding participates in almost every county-wide event, and often has events of its own at school. The staff are usually too busy to tell you about these things, but the LETs try their best to convey these events and invite you. If you stay alert and ask, both students and staff will be happy to see you at any event. One of the favorite activities is the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade kickball tournament.

The staff at Jin Ding refers to themselves as a family and is quick to welcome the ETA into the family. The LETs are fantastic teachers and great people. Joy frequently invites the ETA over to her house for coffee and to play with her son. Administrators and other teachers take more work to get through to and are shy, but any effort you put in will be rewarded. Overall, Jin Ding is a welcoming school with a dedicated and multitalented group of students and staff.