China Team Journal

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Thought of the day:
In high school 55 years ago, I learned in my Geometry class that the sum of the parts is equal to the sum of the whole.
But the sum of life may be more than the sum of its parts.
We have only ten brief days of instruction to give but what might be our influence here? Perhaps most of the students may barely remember us in a year. But perhaps some will remember us forever as those Americans who made learning English a pleasant experience. – Bob

Today I woke up extremely pleased to find out that my near-deaf right ear is now much better. I’m glad that it got better on its own because otherwise I will have to go see an ear specialist and miss spending time at La La Shou special education school, and that is something I would like to avoid to the best of my abilities.

La La Shou special education school is school primarily for kids and teenagers with disabilities such as autism, intelligence and mental growth retardation, as well as other birth defects that significantly reduce their ability to communicate, learn and even the ability to perform basic daily living activities such as brushing teeth and going to the bathroom. I will be spending 3 weeks volunteering at the school, and my role is more or less like a teacher’s assistant, to help the teacher keep the classroom in order, to help carry out the lesson plans, and many other misc. things such as cleaning up and serving lunch.

Today the class started with the usual morning reading of a few children’s articles (written by the teachers themselves), followed by some morning exercises in the classroom. Unfortunately, for the teachers and me, the children were extra “wild” today and the morning exercises became us constantly chasing running children down. They are usually less crazy than this, maybe because of the rain?

Anyways, the students finally settled down just in time for art class. Today’s art class was to fill colors of fruits with the outline already drawn out by the teachers. We all had a lot of fun doing that and all the students did a great job, although we had to hold some students’ hands to finish the drawings as they lacked the hand and finger dexterity and coordination.

We then had lunch and it was hot and sour soup with white flour buns. We all liked the lunch very much and I especially enjoyed the buns. Although I was supposed to eat them with hot spicy paste, I decided not to and just ate them plain.

The students then went for a short nap while the rest of us washed the dishes and cleaned up the classroom. I personally can’t cook too well but I am able to do many of the chores. So I was able to help the teachers out quite a bit. After about an hour and half, the students began to wake up.

We began the afternoon lessons with a little bit of show and tell and some biscuits. It went by relatively well and then for the last lesson of the day we had a combined music class with the neighbor class. We rehearsed some songs that the students will be performing at the zoo trip which will take place next week sometime. We had some progress but there were still a lot of practice that needs to be done. After the music class, the students packed their backpacks and were picked up by their parents one by one, and that’s a typical day at La La Shou Special Education School.