2017 AID Winter
志工感言 (Reflection) >> Miami
# Center
1 Houston
2 SF-Miltipas
3 New York
4 Toronto
5 Orange
6 Chicago
7 Maryland
8 Seattle
9 Vancouver
10 Los Angeles
11 Boston
12 Atlanta
13 Denver
14 Miami
15 London
1 Auckland
Sun, Samantha (孫美光)
AID Summer 2016 has been an experience that I'll never forget. There have been many ups and downs during my time here, but overall, I believe that I have grown more because of this journey.

The first week of the program consisted of many lectures and workshops to develop our teaching plans. This was honestly the most tedious and boring (but necessary) part of the trip, but after the first week, it became a lot better.

The two following weeks were spent teaching our students at our respective schools. I was positioned at an elementary school and was in charge of the kids with the most knowledge in English with a teaching partner from my group and a TA. I was constantly impressed by our student's talent and their eagerness to learn. Luckily for us, our students were mostly very well behaved, so there's no horror stories to tell about that. You get very close to your students after the two weeks and it's hard to say goodbye at the end. The weeks spent teaching were absolutely the best parts of the whole program.

The last week was spent touring the island. Taiwan is very beautiful and full of interesting culture, so a suggestion to next year's volunteers is to take a lot of pictures and really take the time to appreciate all that Taiwan has to offer.

Many times I felt really tired and worn out during this program, because it always seemed like we were on the move and had little time to rest. But that may be because there's so much to see and learn from Taiwan. I also became really close to my team very quickly. We're a family and I'm so grateful to have met all of them.

Overall, I'm very glad that I decided to be a part of AID Summer 2016 and I'm very grateful for this opportunity I've had to make amazing memories and meet fantastic people.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Silsby, Lily (莉莉 希爾斯比)
Although I have a naturally shy and introverted personality, participating in this program allowed me to explore new responsibilities by taking on the leading role of a teacher. Within the actual classroom setting, the act of teaching--of being the one pivotal person in the room that children are relying on as a trusted source knowledge and guidance--led me to discover a latent motivation to strive to make the two-week experience worthwhile, and willingly dismiss any trivial urge for rest, because in the end, all that really mattered was what the children had gained and whether they enjoyed it. Time passed by surprisingly fast. I realized that at the start of the program, I was worried about having too little to offer the kids, but at the end of the program, I found myself scrambling to fit in all of the new activities that were suddening popping into my head, and realizing how little time we had left together. The days began to pass by in a blur,and gradually I acquired a growing confidence about how to handle a classroom, assert authority, encourage a faith in the students' potentials to speak out and cast away their fears of making mistakes. Since I am more of a soloist, working with a partner was somewhat out of my comfort zone, but I consider it to be a healthy challenge nonetheless. By the end of the program, I feel that my communication skills with my partner improved, and that we were able to reach more auspicious compromises.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chen, Eric (陳家駿)
This was one of the most rewarding experience I've ever had. I have never done something like this before and I enjoyed teaching the kids English. Coming in I didn't know what to expect but even though we felt like we were underprepared, the teaching staff helped us out. I really liked my class, they were shy at first, but I feel like we made progress and got them to open up. We did a lot of arts and crafts and physical activities with our kids. Also, the teaching staff there made it a great time by showing us around Chiayi and making sure we had everything we needed. I had a great time in the program.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Hsiao, Corey (蕭銘)
I had no idea what to expect going into the program. I imagined the teaching experience to be very one sided teaching dull grammar and preparing long instruction plans. However, I was very wrong.

The first week of training at Chien Tan was very well structured and gave us resources to properly teach the students. However it wasn't long until I realized our goal in the two weeks of teaching was not only expand their English but also inspire them. This brought my excitement to a new degree.

My school was located in Keelung, a fairly large city. The students were mostly well raised and thus did not cause much trouble and were somewhat easy to teach.
My teaching partner and I were assigned to teach the low achievers or lowest level of English ability. Thus bilingual communication was required. Our challenges included finding the perfect balance of not too much Chinese or English for their learning and motivating the weakest students to keep up with the class.

The children made the experience. Whether they excelled or not in class, they loved all of us.

I formed a family-like bond with the other fellow teachers as well as the advisor for my group. At one point, we even addressed the advisor as Mom! I hope to visit Keelung again in my life to visit the school and all the people I met.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yeung, Charlotte (楊思諾)
AID Summer gave me such a great opportunity to experience things that I usually don't in my daily life, so for that, I am very grateful. I thought training week at Chientan went by relatively quickly, but I think that for next year, the things we learn should be changed. For example, instead of spending an entire day learning different attention grabbers, we should've learned how to deal with children if they cry, fight, or bully each other. This is because the kids would constantly be screaming and fighting each other, which disrupted class time. Also, I believe the schools should do a better job of only having kids who genuinely want to learn English attend the program. This is because the kids who didn't want to learn and only wanted to play started having a negative effect on those who initially wanted to learn. Therefore, maintaining the kids' attention was very difficult and made teaching hard. Lastly, i feel that the organization this year was a little lacking, but the counselors' enthusiasm made things a bit better. However, I really enjoyed this program and I am glad to have met all the people I did!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cheng, Jesse (弘文)
Aid Summer 2016 was an excellent program that has changed my life forever. My eyes have been opened to a new world of possibilities and talent. All our students were so smart and excited to learn. I truly believe that in the heart of every Taiwanese, rests the spirit of greatness and pride of country. I have seen how hard our counselors and school staff worked, I also recognized a great level of respect and discipline displayed by the Taiwanese people as a whole. Aid Summer 2016 volunteers were such talented and bright in every way, I felt humbled by their achievements, and the friendship we created will last a lifetime or more. Thank you OCAC, Taiwan, and everyone who participated in Aid Summer 2016.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lin, Tyger (林宏量)
Honestly, going to AIDSummer has changed me as a person. I've met so many new people. My group A2-7 is the best obviously. But aside from my group, who I spent an entire four weeks with, I met many more new people on the training week and tour. I had a great experience teaching all our kids at Jian Shin Elementary School, and I sincerely hope my teaching has made them want to learn more for the future. Seeing this (hopefully) positive impact I've made upon them is certainly a new thing for me and it felt really nice to see the kids so grateful, especially during the heartbreaking closing ceremony. 10/10 would do again.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chung, Amber (鍾安堤)
There were many memorable moments during my time in the AID program. Some of them were while we were teaching, as we saw the students beginning to learn. At first the kids refused to learn and did not want to settle down at all, but as we played games and got to know them, they began to comply. Using a lot of different games and activities, they slowly began to learn some of the vocabulary we taught them. It made me very happy to see them learn, even if it was a slow process. Even though the kids got used to us, they were very unmotivated to learn, and also did not know much, although some of the kids understood, so they often translated for their friends without being asked to do so. Another memorable moment for me was during the Central Tour. Going to the park and learning about Aboriginal Culture was a very interesting experience. While we there, the scenery was beautiful, and the walk through all the villages was really informative. Although the tour seemed a bit unorganized and it sometimes the schedule changed on the spot, I did not regret coming to AID, it was a great experience for me.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------