News Category: Regional News
For my 2019 international teacher-assistant volunteer expedition, I went to Yilan County, a countryside located in the northeastern part of Taiwan. This being my first time away from modern civilization, I was nervous about the different lifestyle and the different mannerisms of the country people. Would they frown upon my reliance on technology? Would I be able to get along with the kids despite our differing cultures? However, I was worried for nothing. The hospitality was amazing, both from the students and the staff. The food, grown in the village’s center, was all fresh and organic, and the cuisine was especially delectable. Living quarters were homely and surprisingly heavily intertwined with nature. I couldn’t have had a better countryside experience.
Teaching rural students was an eye-opening experience for me. I had never officially taught a class of children before; my experience amounted to several instances of tutoring and play-dates with my nieces. Overall, my personality was not the most desirable for a teacher: I was easily frustrated and always gave into other’s needs because I lacked the confidence to face challenges and their following consequences. However, these humble students made me reconsider my approach to teaching. Having never been taught by high schoolers, much less American high schoolers, the kids greeted us with excitement and positivity. Although we were inexperienced, they gave us their utmost respect and full attention.
The way they reacted to things they’ve never seen before or how they cherished class materials made me realize how privileged I was to have easy access to high-quality education and resources. When it came to playground problems, I learned to take everything seriously, no matter how trivial it seemed, because it proved to the students, especially the more wary ones, that we genuinely cared about their well-being. Education in Asia is uptight and strict; therefore, to many students, they first saw our teaching camp as some sort of summer school “punishment.” However, our purpose was in fact the opposite: to introduce subjects in fun “American” ways, like science experiments, P.E. games, and art projects, to revive their passion for learning.
There were definitely obstacles in our journey toward that goal. Some students had family problems and classmate beef that isolated them from the class and the overall experience. They were so unwilling to open up to us, which hindered our efforts to unify the class, but throughout the weeks, I learned to adapt to the difficulties, to be there for the children until they began to open up, even if it was one eensy step at a time. To our readers, I urge you to try teaching little kids. Although it may seem pointless (trust me, I thought so too), teaching others can actually foster the development of your open-mindset and down-to-earth relatability, which, in turn, will improve vital leadership and social skills. If you’re looking for something to do this summer, I advise you to go volunteer as a teacher’s assistant or tutor. Not only can you become an positive inspiration for someone else, but your life will change for the better as well.
No Records Found
Sorry, no records were found. Please adjust your search criteria and try again.
Google Map Not Loaded
Sorry, unable to load Google Maps API.