China Team Journal

Monday, June 25, 2012

First Day of Class: With a Twist

Today was our first day of classes.  All five of us have been to Kunming multiple times so we pretty much knew the drill.  There was a welcome ceremony in the morning where introductions of officials were made and the goals of Global Volunteers were addressed.  We all introduced ourselves in clear, slowly spoken English.  As Leon pointed out, we represent the United States well:  Nancy is from the west coast (California), Esther and I are from the Midwest (Minnesota and Wisconsin) and Leon and Dixie are from the east coast (New York City).  Finally the official program picture was taken outside.  We are team 202.

It may have been our first day of class but with a twist:  this year we would not be teaching in pairs but rather by ourselves.  No more relying on another volunteer when fatigue starts to set in!  Another first for us:  Nancy, with her musical talents, will be a “floater”, gliding from room to room teaching a song or two on her ukulele.  Today she taught my class the “Hello” song.  Students joined in enthusiastically and seemed pleasantly surprised that this would not be the usual teacher in-service to which they are accustomed. 

All the volunteers seemed to agree that this year’s teachers were somewhat stronger than in the past.  Interestingly, most teachers are not from Kunming but rather from surrounding towns and counties.  It will be an interesting and exciting two weeks for all involved!

- Jim