China Team Journal

Monday, March 22, 2010

Team 181 Week Two (Mar 17-20)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Message of the day: Don’t let the frustrations of teaching cloud reality.

Though it has only been a week, I know we are making a difference because one student yesterday came up to me and said, in very good English, thank you, what you are teaching me is very helpful for me. That made me feel good and reaffirmed my belief that we can make a difference.

With that, we set out another day in an attempt to make a difference. From the chatter in the van everyone seems to be more comfortable and having an easier-go in the classroom and is finding new ways to engage the students - whether it was through singing, drawing, games or poetry and tongue twisters. The good thing about teaching is that there is no wrong way. I also think our being here is a good change of pace for the students and a good opportunity for them to think and learn in a different way, since our style of teaching is much different from the typical Chinese way.

After lunch we all split up to do our own thing. Alice and I rested, Charlie went swimming, Roger went for a walk and Elizabeth and Johannes visited La La Shou with Baoli. From their report at dinner, La La Shou sounds like a great place for kids with developmental disabilities. It’s a shame, though, that it costs so much and not accessible to most people.

Towards the end of dinner, Baoli reviewed our team goals and team characteristics. I’m happy to note that we seem to be succeeding. We’ve somehow managed:
* To Connect
* To Help
* To Enjoy
* and To Learn

It’s been an honor to share my first experience with Global Volunteers with such an extraordinary group of people and great team leader. What a perfect way to spend my time off. Thank you all for a wonderful two-weeks that I will never forget.

Friday March 19, 2010

Thought for the day: Lets enjoy our final day here together!

We begin our final schoolday together here in Xi’an with a good breakfast, talks about the program of the day and plenty of cofe.

Today all of us seem to be less concerned about teaching methods, lesson plans and activities. Instead, we are looking forward to enjoying this day here together with our new friends from the school.

For the last 20 minutes of our first class we come together with our students in the library to sing the song True Colors.

As we have practised this song in our classes for a week now, it feels difficult to motivate for this siging again. However, the students seem to like the song and today our music sounds better then ever.

We are treated by the teachers on a very delicious lunch in a restaurant nearby the school.

Our second class of the day is short as we practise the song together again and then go over to the auditorium were we have a farewell ceremony - Elizabeth, Tracy and Charly are leaving this weekend.

The students of our English class have prepared a smashing 30 minute program for us:
One student sings a clasical song;
Another student performs Street Dance;
Two students sing together a romantic song;
One student plays a song for us on the piano;
Another student performs a RAP-song in Chinese;
Then we are asked to enter the stage.

We play Stone Soup. The students pay us a lot of attention and enjoy the play especially the moral of the story read by Elizabeth in fluent Chinese.

After a farewell speech by Julia and a thank you note by Elizabeth we sing together with the students True Colors.

This extraordinary day ends in a Cafe Bar in the City Centre where we drink Cafe and Tee and have Pizza, play Majo and chat a lot.

After a tearful Godby between some of us we are brought back to the hotel by our friendly driver.