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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Teaching English at Da Ren Elementary School - A Great Opportunity

Serena Chen

Teaching English at Da Ren Elementary School is a volunteer activity for Honors Program (HP) students.  The Honors Program volunteer student teachers teach at the elementary school from 7:50 to 8:30 on Thursday morning for eleven weeks.  Honors Program student teachers help the children with the problems they have had in their regular English classes.  This volunteer activity might look like hard work, but actually, it can be fun.  There are many reasons why this volunteer activity is really great for HP students.

First, knowing that you can help others makes you feel useful.  When you are teaching elementary school students, especially the students who don’t go to cram school, you are helping them and giving them a chance to accept and like English.  Once they like English, they can learn English better.

Second, even though you are the teacher you learn English, too.  During this volunteer activity, there will probably be some English questions that you can’t answer. When this happens, you still have your English teachers at FCU to go to for help.  In this way, you continue to learn and improve your English while you are teaching English.

Also, as you get more experience teaching, your teaching ability improves.  No one tells you what to teach or how to teach it.  As soon as you think about what you are going to teach, you start to improve your teaching ability.  I don’t think it’s easy, but it can be fun.  You can choose your own teaching style.  You can play a game, do an activity, or stand in front of the class and teach the textbook the traditional way.  It’s all up to you.  Regardless of what teaching method you choose, your teaching ability will gradually improve.

Another thing I have learned from this volunteer activity is what it means to be a teacher.  Since I became a teacher, a part of me has want to think like a teacher, dress like a teacher, and talk like a teacher; therefore, I observe the teachers in my HP classes.  I also want to understand just what our teachers want us to learn and if I have really learned it.

Finally, I’ve learned what it means to be me.  I’ve gotten to know myself better through this volunteer activity.  I know who I am by the way I teach and the way I act.  Being an HP volunteer teacher has helped me to see more clearly what my values are.  If you are a student in the Honors Program and are interested in teaching English, then teaching at Da Ren Elementary School can be a great opportunity for you – just as it has been the greatest opportunity for me!


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