Teach English in Lujiawan Zhen - Datong Shi

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In retrospect, my current teaching experience has come from years of tutoring and volunteer teaching. I began tutoring at the community homework center in my city when I was in high school and volunteered there until my third year of university. I also volunteered during that time as a cheerleading coach and dance choreographer for the Pop Warner cheerleading team in my city. It was from these two opportunities that I first encountered how rewarding and powerful working with children can be. The students I worked with in both of these settings ranged from about 6-12 years of age from all different cultural backgrounds and living situations. The homework center tested my ability to think fast and make the most out of the short time after school the children would sit and be tutored while the Pop Warner team allowed me to grow as a person who was culturally competent and understanding. I found there to be a magnitude of problems within the city educational system and cultural sensitive aspects within the family dynamic. The children from the community homework center were largely from immigrant families with little written English language skills. So most of the teaching done at school fell on accepting ears and ignorant hands therefore I spent most of the tutoring sessions teaching basic sentence structure and skills necessary to write quality essay. The remaining time was then spent aiding on actual homework. There was a clear dichotomous relationship between the child’s language acquisition and written performance. Worksheets that mapped out the structure of paragraphs such as the five sentence structure with an introduction sentence and a conclusion proved to be most effective as well as refreshers on subjects and verbs within sentences. Thus, activities were crafted around these teaching subjects. Coaching a Pop Warner team allowed me to grow sympathetically and culturally as a teacher. The team included 24 pre-pubescent girls who went to school together and were expected to get along. To say this was not always the case is an understatement. The parents also provided some challenge as well. I had to be mindful of more conservative ideologies on dance as I choreographed. There were also instances were advocacy was needed. For example, there was a cheerleader with autism who did not like the feel of the uniform directly on her skin. The judgment board then had to be contacted to request this “change of uniform” to evade being deducted points. Furthermore, volunteering in this position taught me how to communicate professionally with parents, judges, city officials and community leaders at a young age. Volunteer teaching has enabled me to be confident in my future endeavors and apply as an ESL teacher. I currently work within the autistic community as a life skills teacher working in the classroom with nonverbal children. Volunteer teaching has provided a solid foundation for understanding direct and indirect ways to aid in knowledge acquisition and contributing to a positive environment even without language. Volunteering has taught me so much more than just how to help children with homework and dance; it has taught me how to be confident in teaching and understanding of all age groups from different backgrounds.