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July 5, 2012 / windlessly

Taiwan Travels: Day 5 (part 1)

It’s been like a vacation here, hanging out with friends all day, even in classes… Despite some strictness to the program and the mandatory classes, the free time is so much fun. Chilling in the lobby with snacks, finding groups and pockets of people lounging on each floor, seeing everyone at mealtimes and talking with random people in the elevator.



I have newfound respect for foreign language teachers everywhere. Teaching seems easy, right? Wait until you try it yourself.  There is a ridiculous amount of preparation needed for just 10 minutes, and even then it seems awkward and stiff for a horribly inexperienced person like me. Teaching ten students is exponentially harder than teaching one person, because there are so many other factors you have to consider- interest level, gap in knowledge, confidence, shyness, fairness… running things smoothly from one activity to another, thinking up transitions to say while maintaining a presence in the classroom, being enthusiastic about what you’re teaching. Teaching a foreign language to beginners, especially, is frustrating for me because I have to restrict everything to what English the kids would know. I’ll be teaching 1st and 2nd graders, so this morning instead of workshops and presenters, we were all given time in our classrooms with our groups to start making teaching materials and preparing a ten minute presentation of one of our lesson plans. It took two hours to prepare and another one to present, and even then I don’t think I’m much good. Some people were naturally creative and enthusiastic- Amanda and Alice seemed to be taking the show. Anyways there are a lot of things I have to reconsider, and just learn along the way I guess. Actually practicing and running through made me realize how many more there is to teaching. We had presentation practice today and I actually learned more from my peers than I have from any speakers the past few days. Everyone is so creative and talented… there was a group that was simply awesome- they played ukelele and incorporated rhyme into their rules and were very engaging and interesting in my opinion, while being fun. It made me a bit nervous about my own teaching ability but it passed afterwards. We’re going to the night market later as well, so I’ll actually make a separate post for that!! Teaching is really really hard. But I’m glad I’m here.

I mean, come on. I have friends who will look up YouTube videos of beatboxing Daft Punk and cover Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger with me while teaching me how to break dance.

I have friends who will draw me storybooks and even post messages on my Facebook during class that I suck =P

I even have friends who will vlog/blog with me and hunt for wi-fi together with! (Thank you, Kevin, for sitting next to me on that first bus ride to Chientan hahaha)


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