Discovering Beijing and Inner Mongolia, China
Major: Leadership for Organizational Learning and Performance
By: Tamara Kay York
We visited a few local schools. We saw an elementary school that was within walking distance from the hotel (maybe 10 minutes), and we got to tour the facility and say hi (ni-hao) in a few classrooms. We also got to do exercises with the kids during their break and this was quite an event and something that I feel US students would benefit from in regards to expending built up energy and/or anxiety so that they can focus better while in the classroom. This also gives the kids something to look forward to after recesses end in the fact that they will still get a mental break and be able to stretch, say hi to their friends, burn some energy for a few minutes.
We also traveled, by public transportation, to a kindergarten, high school, and university as well. At the kindergarten school we got to visit for a while in quite a few different class rooms and participate in some of their class room activities, and then again during the exercise break/recess time. At the local high school we visited with the international department class (about 12 students) and we stayed with them for the full school day (7:30am-6pm). The first few classes were strictly in Chinese so we studied their culture/practices in responding to teacher inquiries, reviewed their workbooks, and classroom/study group layout as compared to US. After the 2nd class the classes were in English (grammar, reading/writing & hearing/speaking English, physics, history). Each of us, sometimes 2 of us, sat at a table where 4 students were positioned in a square with their desks each square was a work/study group. So we were able to communicate with the students, as they were in the international department and knew English very well due to their school/college/professional goals, and we also contributed to their English exercises in helping them understand the meaning of words, past/current/future tense/s, and also general common communication practices in the US with greetings/salutations.
Elementary children hand painting pictures