Sunday July 11, 2010

Thought for the Day:
(1) Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
(2) It’s not about how to achieve your dreams. It’s about how to lead your life.

On a lovely Saturday evening our team met for the first time at dinner at the Golden Spring Hotel with the mission of improving the English conversational skills of teachers from Yunnan Province. Our country manager, Baoli, begins her 2nd year leading this successful and popular program at Kunming Teachers College. All of the Volunteers are returnees and most have a teaching background but other fields such as medicine, law, business are represented. Each of the Volunteers made a brief biographical statement:

(1) Dick, a professor in Regional and City Planning at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, is a third term GV having previously taught in Poland and Rumania. A lawyer by training, he teaches environmental law. This is first program with GV in China.

(2) Carol, from Ithaca, New York, is the wife of Dick, and is a special education teacher with special interest in autism and developmental handicap conditions. Kunming will be the third program in which she and her husband have served.

(3) Junion, a teacher of business strategies at Pasadena City College, is from Diamond Bar, California, and returns to China as a GV for the second time having previously served in Xi’an 1998. He is a retired businessman and teacher.

(4) Kathleen from Los Altos, California returns to Kunming for her fourth summer to enjoy the teaching program and cultural enrichment experience in Kunming. She is a retired research dietitian and this is her fifth GV program.

(5) Martin, Kathleen’s husband, returns to Kunming for his fourth summer and looks forward to improving his teaching skills in the great program at Kunming Teachers College. A retired eye surgeon, he is serving on his fifth GV program.

(6) Bob, from Summit, New Jersey, has served on three GV programs, in Xi’an, Ho Chi Minh, and Rumania. A retired high school teacher of business courses in New Jersey, he looks forward to teaching the English teachers at Kunming Teachers College.

On Sunday morning, the formal orientation began at 8:20 am with Baoli covering (1) The history of the Global Volunteer Program, (2) Philosophy of Global Volunteers,
(3) Team Building, (4) Policy and Guidelines, (5) Heath and Safety, and (6) Teaching Assignments. The team will be divided into three teams, each team teaching 16 to 18 students. The three teams compose: (a) Dick and Carol (b) Junion and Bob, and (c) Martin and Kathleen.

Baoli then reviewed the six Global Volunteers Policies, and 3 Guidelines for team member behavior.

An outline of the teaching schedule was given with daily teaching in the morning and cultural enrichment lectures for three afternoons of the first week, and field trip and speech festival for afternoons of the second week.

The team was then divided into four coordinating areas with one lead and one support person. These include:
(1) Journal managers: Dick (lead), Martin (support)
(2) Health and safety coordinators: Martin (lead), Bob (support)
(3) Free time coordinators: Kathleen (lead), Bob (support)
(4) Final celebration coordinators: Carol (lead), Junion (support)

After a delicious lunch at the hotel, the meeting was adjourned and met again at 5:30 pm where we dined at a local restaurant hosted by our local hosts from the Bureau of Education and Kunming Teachers College.

A full enjoyable day was experienced by all who look forward to beginning our teaching sessions in the morning.

– Martin

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