I can’t believe we hit our halfway mark this week.
Week 4 of zooming into Zhuhai everyday has proved to be pretty exhausting, but the good news is that there were no connection issues this week! All our kids were on time this week, and we are definitely falling into the rhythm of the program. It’s such a joy to see more and more of my students participating each week, and I can tell that the nervousness of speaking English has turned into excitement. I also recognized more faces this week, and this just makes me wish that I had more one on one time with my students to get to know them. During one of our team meetings this week, we watched 2019’s cohort perform in front of the entire school, and I could literally feel the energy through the screen. It was beautiful to see how carefree everyone in the cohort was; everyone was dancing their hearts out to songs like baby shark and the cupid shuffle, and the entire school loved it! While it often feels silly to dance like no one’s watching, especially in front of your peers and hundreds of other people, I love how everyone is having the times of their lives while performing in Zhuhai. Seeing this video made my heart ache.
However, our virtual experience has really taught me to appreciate the small things. Remember the student Jessica and I had a private lesson with last week? Well, wait until you hear about our class this week with her (this is our last class of the week)! Jessica and I decided to have some fun with our last class of the week by putting on filters to teach with. The filters proved to be very useful for our lesson. We would use zoom filters to explain sports vocabulary, such as putting on the goggles filter when we talked about goggles during class. Otherwise, we just had fun with spicing up the class with a different look, and the kids loved it! They giggled as we all discussed which filters me and Jessica should teach with. The student we talked to last week recognized us right away, and I was so happy to see her again. Although she was one of the shyer kids during the first two weeks, she was not afraid to answer any of our questions. She set the tone for the class because she was participating so much, so the other kids followed her example and participated a lot as well. Jessica and I were reflecting about how much she helped our class, and we realized that if we hadn’t had an issue with the connection last week, we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to get to know her. It felt like some sort of fate that we got to get to know her last week. I’m extremely thankful that we have formed a bond with this student, and it’s crazy that it only took 40 minutes to build this connection with her!
Learning about sports this week was a lot of fun. I learned that their PE classes consist of a lot of running, basketball, and volleyball. Some of them even play pingpong in PE class. This is pretty different from the games and sports we usually do in PE class in the U.S. because we often play games like dodgeball and kickball. We played a lot of games where the kids would have to guess the sport based on a description given, and we found that acting out the sport was effective in helping the kids memorize the English words for the sports. I had a great time teaching this week, even though it was exhausting. Everyday, I wish we could all do this in person, but I’ve learned to appreciate this special experience that we get while teaching virtually.