Saturday, July 7, 2018

Welcome to Zhoushan!

I am thrilled to say I am typing this blog from China!  After a long and arduous journey, our group united in Shanghai and travelled to the island city of Zhoushan, about four hours south of Shanghai. This is a new site for SABEH and also a brand new school in general. It is from the same organization that hosted SABEH in Hangzhou, where I taught during my first two trips to China. This campus, being new, is absolutely stunning. They designed it fully under the principles of fend shui in the style of traditional Chinese architecture. The centerpiece of the campus is a massive contemplative koi pond that sits among the towering school buildings.

Walking around this peaceful educational instituation is compareable to walking through the grounds of a traditional Buddhist temple. Every piece of architecture has a meaningful purpose and they all work together to create a peaceful retreat for the students and faculty on campus. 

Our collaboration with the Chinese teachers will not officially begin for another day, however our SABEH teachers are already working hard with their assistants to perfect lessons. Of course, my role this year has changed to more of a learning coach so I will not be in the classrooms teaching, but rather observing and guiding the American teachers. This has brought new meaning to me for the theme of how unclear things can be in China. Between trying to save face and mistranslations, I have my work cut out to make sure things run smoothly. 

One of my favorite parts of working in China is the connections I make with educators from this part of the world. I was shocked and pleased to see a very familiar face yesterday even though I am in a new school!  My previous assistant from Hangzhou will be assisting us in Zhoushan this summer!  It was such a wonderful surprise seeing her and reconnecting. When she worked with me in Hangzhou it was her first year teaching and I can already see how much she has grown. 

As I am typing this we are actually on our way to visit the beach!  I’m definitely enjoying this teaching on a resort island thing. Stay tuned for more blogs in the coming week about my experience leading a group of wonderful teacher in this beautiful archipelago!

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