joined our projects in New Hope School, Suichang
Please you us about some of your most enjoyable moments of the trip?
Teaching in China is definitely one of my most useful and fun experiences so far.
First of all, in Suichang I met my dream class. Despite the language and cultural barriers, we developed a unique communication, using body language and our very own sign language. I entered the class happy to see them and I left ever happier.
Moreover, I feel lucky that I have met my boss. I will never forget the moments when he was popping in the classroom to interrupt the lesson just to make students laugh and learn at the same time. Being able to observe the way he teaches and get advice on how to teach enjoyable and effective lessons, was definitely a memorable and inspiring opportunity.
Which were the highlights of the lessons, cultural excursions and outdoor activities?
Every morning all the students had to go to a nearby stadium for morning reading. The activity consisted of the teachers reading out loud words and sentences and the students repeating them all together. Although, this was quite stressful in the beginning, as I was worried that my non-native English pronunciation was not good enough, in the end I enjoyed it a lot! We got to sing English songs, I had almost 130 kids wish me at the same time on my birthday and we also had a lot of fun on the way back to school, when the students were running after our bikes, in order to get to school first.
How would you say the overall experience has benefited you?
Teaching English to students whose level was relatively low, helped me develop the way I speak to them during the classroom and the way I give instructions. I found myself talking more clearly, taking time to think during class and therefore being more mindful of how the lesson is developing. Moreover, following the school's philosophy of making the class fun and exciting, I experimented with a lot of different games, activities and tricks to transform the teaching materials. As I have mentioned before, my boss was a great source of inspiration and observing him in action gave me a lot of ideas.
What was the best thing about your experience in China?
Apart from teaching I really enjoyed my stay with the local family. I have tasted delicious food and I have visited many beautiful places with them during the weekends. I even got to dance with my Chinese grandma at the park. In general, observing how a Chinese family functions gave me a better understanding of the culture in China, something that I would never get as a tourist.
Would you recommend participating to a friend and if so why?
I would recommend this program to a friend for many reasons. First of all, it's free of charge and also very well organised at the same time. I would recommend it to people who would like to get to know the Chinese culture through the experience of staying with the locals and also teach.