6f02c410-7e1d-4ec8-8f17-92af3f3fc175 - The world through blue eyes

The Double Role of a Teacher

In this post on the University of Southampton Study Overseas Blog, EduCamp Beijing participant Patricia shares her teaching experiences.

The Double Role of a teacher

For decades the teacher has always been seen as the sole knowledge deliverer and the person who has the most powerful role in the classroom. I would have also pictured teachers like this regardless of the subject they are teaching, but after my recent teaching experience through Abridge EduCamp at the Camford Royal School Beijing my perspective on teaching has been flipped 180 degrees.

English as a foreign language teachers do not only get to share the knowledge of the English language and culture but in turn they learn about other cultures through their students.

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Let me tell you a bit about the camp...

The Camford Royal School Beijing is situated in a lovely and vibrant site outside the busy Beijing where students not only disconnect from the fast paced life of the contemporary metropole, but at the same time they get to create new connections both with other students and the student volunteer teachers.

Here are 3 things I learned as an EFL teacher...

1. Eagerness for learning

Even from the first classes, I noticed how interested and keen to learn English each of my students were. This curiosity was one of the assets of my students hence why with every class I was bombarded with million questions!

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2. Openness towards the unknown

Spending 10 days away from one’s family is difficult for grown up adults let alone for children. Even though all of the children taking part in the camp made an effort coming to the camp they were ready at any time to meet new people and say with an open heart “Welcome to China”. New friends, new surrounding and new beginnings create the most beautiful memories.

3. Forget about the mistakes and have fun

Learning a language is a process of trial and error. Growing up such a process brings more and more fear to anyone learning something new. As a teacher at the Camford Royal school I was reminded thanks to my students that we learn though mistakes and that learning has to be fun. 

Nevertheless, my students showed me that I am never too old to take part in games, therefore afternoon games have grown to become my favourite activities of the day

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So, after spending a summer in China as a foreign language teacher I would whole-heartily say that such an experience was rewarding, educational and recreational at the same time.

For anyone out there considering starting off a teaching career or even trying it out over the summer I could not recommend the Abridge programs or any similar programs enough.

– Patricia, University of Southampton

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