Saturday, March 10, 2012

Today I Became A Teacher

This month, I started teaching English abroad.  As a one off project, I am teaching 10 to 12 year old students.  I am volunteering for the "Education Care Program" that is organized by the Rotary Club of Sandakan.  This program is for low-income families who struggle to give their children a proper education.  The Rotary Club helps provide school funding and other accessories for these families.  As an additional education benefit, I will be teaching English every Saturday for two hours free of charge for any student that is a part of the program.
A few reasons why I chose to do this was because I wanted to be able to work with children, I wanted the experience of teaching abroad and I wanted to be able to give these students the opportunity to advance their written and verbal English skills.

As expected on the first day the students were a bit shy and nervous, but they all seemed eager to learn.  For the first class I had them fill out some general information about themselves and then asked each of them to read it aloud.  This helped me determine their English level.  They also learned about local 'American food', some 'American history', and some geography. 

In just one day, I could already see why 'teachers' love their job because even the little things can excite you.  So here is my little bit of excitement from my first class. 

Since English is a second language to them, there were many times I was given the blank stare and I wondered if they even knew what I was talking about.  After discussing 'American' geography and learning about the 50 states; we then talked about similarities to the Malaysian flag and the American flag.  I asked them to count the number of stars on the American flag they said, "50".  Then I asked, "does anyone know why there would be 50 stars?"  They all said, "Because there are 50 states".  It was at that moment where I felt the excitement.  It gave me encouragement to see that not only were they listening and learning, but that they understood the lesson I gave in full English.  This is just another adventure that I am so truly thankful to have been able to experience.  

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