Sunday, July 23, 2017

Reflections of teaching in Fuzhou

So, I have to say I was excited to experience teaching in a new city in China this year, but I was definitly nostalgic for the Greentown school in Hangzhou where I spent the previous two summers. I am so glad I opened my mind to the new city, though. Teaching in Fuzhou was truly unique. It was nothing like my previous summers. The teachers in Fuzhou were amazingly grateful for our time together. They wanted to truly learn as much as they could from our two weeks together and they put in the needed effort. 

I think this experience was so different for me because the teachers we worked with had never learned teaching pedagogy. They spent their college leads mastering content, which in a way is fantastic, but at no point are they trained in how to best teach kids. The teaching is an afterthought. Which makes sense in a country where student failure is purely seen as a lack of effort.  The teachers left SABEH as better educators than when they arrive. I hope they take what they learned and find a way to apply it to their own rooms for their own students. 

One of my favorite parts of the two weeks was something that was not done in Hangzhou. The teacher learners all worked tirelessly to create performances to end the summer program. Some of the performances were really creative and well done. It was a fun way for them to do one last activity with their newly made friends. 

Their energy and enthusiasm was infections throughout the program. Classes had shirts made, some had posters made, and one even had a banner made. Their love of SABEH was evident. 

Looking back I feel like I really helped to make a difference in the lives of the teachers. Even if they are held to curriculum and will have a tough time integrating the strategies I taught, every single one of them left the two week program with a new sense of rejuvenation within their work. It was wonderful to be a part of that inspiration. 

I don’t know where I will be next summer, but Fuzhou will always be on my list of places to one day return. 

1 comment:

  1. Love this! You are making such a global impact, Mike. Great job!