Monday, July 28, 2014

"Import Intelligence Training Class"

The Kindergarten school in Dantu where our classes were held.
There were always, and still are, many places that I want to visit. I am now spending my second summer in Jiangsu Province mainly because I was a bit lazy this year and joining the group of teachers contracted to provide cultural exchange experiences with Chinese english teachers was a bit of an effortless way to travel. Although we are provided a stipend, accommodation, food and sightseeing, technically we are not working. Since I need to plan lessons, wake up every morning and go to school it does in fact feel like I am working!
The visiting teachers come from Canada, Australia and the US and are contracted by the province's education bureau to exchange cultural information, methodology, and provide the teachers of english with the opportunity to practice their conversational skills. English is taught in most schools here from grade 3 on but mainly through the use of tapes and writing excercises. Many of the teachers have had very little contact with foriegners and therefore not much opportunity to speak English. In many of the cities and towns outside of Shanghai and Beijing the presence of foriegners is a novelty and we will often have children and teenagers practicing their skills by saying, "Hello! Where are you from?"

Since I am spending four weeks in total, two in Dantu and two in the city of Gayou, with these teachers decided to share a summary of the experience that was sent to me by one of the participants in my first placement. Front, as he called himself, could sum up the two weeks with a little more flair than me and besides, he makes me sound so good that I'm not sure he was actually writing about me! (and before you ask, no I didn't bribe him)
Happy training, Harvest gaining
高桥中学 谭华峰
Two weeks' Import Intelligence Training Class for Middle School English Teachers has passed. I felt very happy about the training and gained a lot from it .
Our teacher, Terry, comes from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. She is a very kind and learned lady. During the training, she tried her best to help us learn about as much she did in her work in Canada as she could. She is not only our teacher, but our friend as well .
In her classes, Terry told us many things about Canada, including symbolic things, family life, food, fun and games, celebrations about holidays, education, language learning and so on. These made me more familiar with the life that Canadians are having .
In her classes, Terry taught us many strategies of teaching as well as class activities in learning the English language. She participated in our activities, listened to our ideas and thoughts, advised us on how to organize teaching and learning activities in efficient ways, discussed with us the differences in life, education, culture and so on between China and western countries, asked all of us to have a good preparation of a symbolic things in China and presented to the whole class orally.
In her classes,Terry encouraged all of us to open our mouths speaking English as often and bravely as possible.She hoped that we all the trained teachers would express what we thought actively instead of being afraid of making mistakes in pronunciation or grammar. She said that language is just a tool for people to communicate with each other. We don't need to focus on the words, the syntax or the grammar too much, but the topic itself we are talking about. Terry is a good example for me to follow because of her encouraging words, smile and acceptance to her students. Never saying no to a student is really a nice teaching way.
Terry is hard-working. Before class starts, she got everything ready for it. In class, she put all her effort into the contents she taught us, and she even sang or danced if necessary. After the training day ended, she was the last one to leave, putting everything where they were and made some teaching materials for the next day's work.
Terry is high-quality in personality. She is sincere. She does everything honestly and equally. She doesn't cheat in doing anything. She behaves quite well both in class and out of class. She is grateful. Every day, I drove her to the Conference Center for lunch,"Thank you" could always be heard when getting into and out of my car. What a lady with a grateful heart! She always shows us the "positive energy". She believes everyone and everything around us is nice and good. She is my model. On the last day of our training, before she left our classroom for the last time, she put all the waste and rubbish together and threw them into the waste basket. "I won't leave anything messy or useless in the classroom, or others will have to spend much time tidying and cleaning them" she said. I was greatly shocked about her behaviour and words! This is my dear teacher, Terry! This is what I hope to be, a teacher not only teaching the students how to get knowledge, but also educating my students how to be a person full of stong responsibility!
Thank you,Terry! It is you who stimulate my mind of being a responsible teacher! It is you who make me know that how important it is for a teacher to guide his students pass "positive energy" to others and the society ! It is the Import Intelligence Training Class that brings me more than I can get only about knowledge!

I'm sure that some of you who know me are laughing hysterically at some of the comments, especially when it comes to singing and dancing! Not exactly my fortay but I did give it a go!
My class in Dantu.

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