Team 161, Kunming, June 23

By Joshua
Thought for the Day: The World is Flat

Photo for the Day: Joshua with a Yi ethnic minority girl from Shi Ping in the south of Yunnan Province.

The day started off as any other; sitting around a large table eating our American style breakfast at the Hotel. I had no idea what the day was to bring. You see, it was the first day that we were going to teach at the Kunming Teacher’s College, and my first Global Volunteers experience.
When we arrived at the College, we first entered into a large room filled with the jubilant faces of the awaiting English teachers. After standing up one at a time and introducing ourselves to our students, we were welcomed in speeches given by Mr. Yao Zhongqing, the President of Kunming Teachers College, Mr. Wu Yanming, the Director of Teachers Training in Kunming Education Bureau, and Ms. Shan Yong, the Vice Director of Foreign Affairs office in Kunming Municipality. The next fifteen minutes were spent taking a group photo with the students following which we dispersed into our specific classrooms.

After our teaching finished, we returned to the hotel where we ate lunch and discussed our days. It seemed that many volunteers took a more interactive approach, testing the level of the students by calling each out individually, asking simple questions. The approach varied, with some volunteers using even dance to try to build the connection with their students. My sister and I found our youth advantageous, as it seemed that the students felt more at ease when a younger volunteer was in the room. The volunteers found that, unlike some prior experiences with Global Volunteers, the level of the students in cases differed drastically, with some nearly fluent and some knowing very little. Yet we found that most students were in the middle area, and in spite of all of their skill differences, all seemed quite ready and willing to spend 3 weeks of their lives learning a strange tongue from barbarians.

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