Team Journal, November 8

Monday, November, 8 2010

Thought for the day: “ A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.” Chinese Proverb

Our first day of work began with some organization of the supplies in our library/office. It appears that over the years, an outstanding collection of teaching materials and aids for a better volunteer experience have accumulated. The portable toilet seat took away a worry of a few of the female participants because of the lack of western toilets at the school. I would think that future groups should limit their contributions to this supply base and bring only personal photos, etc.

Our teaching at the school began in the afternoon. The journey to the school took about twenty minutes. As soon as we exited the van, the kids swarmed us with smiles and “hellos”. Each of our three groups had three forty minute sessions with the younger age groups -ages 10-12.

The afternoon was very quickly over and the group was taken to a restaurant run by the Chinese Nan minority (Islamic tradition) who has been in the Kunming area for centuries. Our meal included a Kunming local food-steamed chicken soup with medicinal herbs. Two English teachers from the school and our driver joined us for dinner.

At our closing session in the evening, we shared our experiences in teaching today. All three groups had different approaches and visuals aids-maps blowup globes, photos on computers, math games, days of the week exercises etc. We all quickly modified our approach as the afternoon progressed because the material and language was a bit over the heads of the younger children.

The Chinese English teachers were very helpful with translation and suggestions.

Submitted by Mary Mastin

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