Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Teaching the teachers and having fun doing it.

One of my fun projects right now is doing some teacher training in our school and some of our city schools.  I've done one training workship and am working on writing some curriculum. Last Friday I got to go with the coordinator of these trainings to a local public school in our city and teach a one hour English class to 35 4th graders.  The purpose was to show the teacher's some new and creative way to teach English. I chose to do Reader's Theatre with the group. Reader's Theatre is a kind of play where the actors get to keep the script when they perform.  It's great for reading, vocabulary building and pronunciation practice.  Plus it's just plain fun.
So last Friday, the coordinator and I were driven to the school.  The school has over 1000 students and is fairly well known in our city.  When we got there, many of the kids were outside at recess.  We went in and met the principal and sat down for water and fruit in a nice kind of conference room.  This was the first time I'd really been inside a Chinese elementary school and it was pretty fascinating. The class sizes are large but not overly large. The classrooms were bright and cheerful and the teachers were kind to their students.  It really was a good afternoon.

The outside of the school.  It's in the middle of the city.

Play equipment was pretty minimal.  A few ping pong tables and exercise equipment.  Several children were jumping rope.  There was also chess available.

The inside of the class.  36 seats and 35 4th graders.  All well behaved - at least while I was there!

This says "Hao, hao xue xi, tian tian xian shang" or "Study hard, every day make progress".  I think every child in China knows this proverb.

Complex math problems on the board- sorry for the glare.

When we got there, I handed out scripts to each child. The Reader's Theatre play we were doing was very simple.  It was about a girl who wanted to buy new shoes.  We then read through it (first me, then they repeated each  line. Then we read it together.  Then they practiced at their tables.

After they practiced, they performed.

It takes  a lot of courage to get up in front of your classmates and read something you have only practiced once or twice!  It went well, even though the English levels varied.

My new friends.  This little girl on the left in the pink was a sweetie.

More of the 4th graders.  The red scarves mean they are part of the Young Pioneers- the Communist Party's youth program.

All line up to go back inside.

It was a rewarding afternoon.  It's great to be doing the thing I love- teaching children, teaching teachers and having fun!

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