Another great day of teaching and learning for all!

teachingOn our very first day in Kunming we established that one of our team goals was to be flexible. In many ways this experience has taught me exactly what that means. Marcela and I learned quickly that our group of teachers were not only interested in songs and games but also wanted to know exactly what teaching methods they could use in the classroom. Because of the rigor of the Chinese education systemic system, many of them wanted us to show them how to teach through the textbook. Having zero teaching experience, I had no idea where to begin. Recognizing our own teacher’s needs and wants, I realized quickly I had to manage not only the teacher’s expectations, but my own.Picture1_

Dr. Taylor was kind enough to spend some time with our group emphasizing that being well versed in conversational English would not only benefit them but would directly benefit their students. We spent time highlighting the constraints, opportunities and resources of the classroom. On their own, the teachers were able to come up with some solutions to address those constraints based on the resources and opportunities available to them. We also talked about how they are their own best resources and how they can support each other long after we volunteers are gone. By the end of class they had already exchanged e-mail addresses.

DSCN1796Drawing on this idea of giving the teachers ideas for activities to use in the classroom while practicing their own speaking skills, we decided to have a debate. Quickly we moved from the discussion of the one child policy to puppy love. The ensuing discussion was both hilarious and intriguing and we found that they seemed to enjoy expressing their own thoughts and opinions. I know that I am definitely more confident than I was day one.  I know this experience has helped me to grow in so many ways and I look forward to seeing what the rest of this trip will bring. I hope our short time here will help our teachers see their own potential just as much as I have begun to see mine, and more.


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