The Teachers’ First Day of School!
Four intrepid volunteer teachers are spending this week in Huainan, China, providing professional development to our teachers at LWB’s Believe in Me School there. This week, we’re excited to share their adventures and insights with our supporters!
On Monday morning as the training team pulled into the Huainan orphanage, a few small faces were seen looking out to the beautiful terrace in the middle of the orphanage. As we drew closer, more and more curious children joined their friends. It was easy for us to see that the children were happy and well taken care of. They were not bashful and loved coming up close to our large group to check us out.
We started the week with tours of the wonderful Believe in Me classrooms and library. Lots of laughter followed as we began teacher lessons with an ice breaker which was so much fun and helped us get to know the BIM teachers. We then asked the teachers to give us their perspective on the challenges that they face in the classroom. We wanted them to know that we hear their concerns and understand where they are coming from.
We not only have had a chance to connect with the group during sessions but also at mealtime. There is lots of laughter, so many great questions, and a great deal of social chatter between the BINM teachers and the training team. It appears to be a very successful start to what is sure to be a wonderful week!!
Some concepts we’ve been teaching include labeling items in the classroom to increase vocabulary as well as picture labeling. We worked with the teachers on the use of tape for defining workspaces, places to sit, and how to use space on assigned tape markings. We’ve discussed creative ways to allow children to fidget and use their excess energy and have given the teachers hands-on opportunities to put these new “gadgets” and ideas into action.
We love the afternoons because that is when the kids join us! They are absolutely adorable. We wish everyone could have seen them doing yoga with the teachers. So many of them are jumping right in and trying everything! These are such wonderful and engaging kids with boundless curiosity.
A few of the older kids hung around outside the room and cautiously observed, despite encouragement to join. Slowly, some started to creep their way in toward the end. However, when it came time to act out the stories “Jungle Adventure” and “Under the Sea,” they all wanted to be involved! They had fun moving and grooving and making animal poses — never realizing all of the muscles they were using and the great exercise they were getting!
To sum up these first few days, Lisa said it best: “We know working in Special Education can be challenging, but rewarding. We hope that we can provide these teachers more chances to experience the rewarding side of working with such special children!”
We look forward to bringing you more updates as the week continues. As always, if you have an interest in helping offset this year’s teacher training expenses, please make a donation to our teacher training fund. No donation is too big or small!