Thursday, March 23, 2006

Passing on the love...

My favorite class of the day is the one I don't usually teach- Mandarin class. It is the students' favorite class, too. They call me a "co-teacher", but that's a pretty far stretch for a gal who spent a year fiddling with a language with less than great intensity. Our real teacher, Evangeline, is one fantastic lady. She works at QCC (the ESL high school that is located at Western). I teach one class a week (something related to my China experience, a craft, or a lesson on Chinese history, landmarks, geography or politics), while she teahes the other four. We've made spring rolls together, Chinese valentines, we've ate dry squid and fish, and a meal at a Chinese restaurant is in the agenda for next week.
Our little high school has really caught fire when it comes to learning about Chinese language and culture- it's really quite neat, and a unique experience for our kids. They're so excited about everything! Each student is also paired up with a Chinese student from QCC, and they hang out together once a week in an exchange of language and culture.
Today we spent most of the class working on our Chinese characters. A student and I agreed that it is such a peaceful thing to do. 20 people in a room working diligently on these little strokes that combine to actually create real words! It's hard for our English minds to figure out just how these picture characters have meanings.
It has been so fun for me- learning more Chinese everyday, getting to know another wonderful Chinese person, and having the chance to pass on my love for this country to my students.
Here's my homework from today!

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