2017 AID Winter
志工感言 (Reflection) >> London
# Center
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1 Auckland
Crevecoeur, Rosa (高若珊)
AID had bad moments, tiring moments, very very frustrating moments, but also absolutely amazing moments that make me glad I came here.
Training week at Chientan was, well, let’s call it an experience. The way we were taught wasn’t quite what I expected. It was annoying (to say the least) to be treated like a child again, to have to ask to go to the bathroom, to be told to make posters and play games and smile pretty for the camera. But at the same time I met some of the greatest people in that week. We laughed, talked way past our bedtimes and complained about how we felt like we were being treated like children. So, while I lost counts of how many times I rolled my eyes when we were told to make yet another poster, the first week wasn’t all bad.
The second week we went to our schools, and let me tell you, teaching made everything worth it. I taught 12 year olds at Nanhua Junior High where we lived on campus. The rooms had no air conditioning, only fans, there were too many bugs to even want to count, and the closest 7-eleven was 12 km away. Still, the time I spent there was unforgettable.
We started the first teaching day with games and a pretest, just like we had been told. The moment we brought out the pieces of paper the students all got a look of terror. We tried to convince them the test didn’t matter, I don’t think they really believed us. What did our pretest tell us? Our students knew next to no English. I was lucky that my teaching partner spoke fluent Chinese or we would’ve been in very deep trouble (not quite Mariana Trench deep, but close). So here’s a pro-tip; don’t expect too much English from your students (half the time the students would know what we were on about but would pretend they didn’t).
So our students knew practically nothing, so there went our teaching schedule. This ended in a lot revisiting and changing our teaching plan, which was exhausting, and even more improvising. But all of that isn’t at all exciting. What was exciting however were our students. Even now I have an unread message from our Facebook group (jokingly named ‘In English’ because that’s what we used to tell them every other sentence). It’s incredible how well I got to know my students, how many inside jokes I now have with a group of 12 year olds who don’t even speak the same language as me.
Was this a great experience? Definitely.
Was I annoyed by lots of little things? Absolutely.
Would I do this again? Yep.

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Chen, Yunshin (陳韻心)
I am extremely grateful that AID summer program gave me this fantastic and wonderful experiences and these are the experiences I would never had. I have also realised that being a teacher is not an easy job.
The two-week teaching time is too short. On the first day of teaching at Nanhua Junior High School was definitely a difficult job, students was confused and shy to participate in class. In order to overcome these challenges, me and my teaching partner had to spend a lot of time every day after school planning for our next day’s lesson, while discussing the problems that our kids had and what made them to refuse to speak English. While suspecting my own teaching skills, as I have never taught before. However I believe that I have the responsibility to give them the lessons that they would look forward to every day. After a few days they were confident to speak to us in English. Their intention and motivation to learn gave us courage. They have the ability to do a lot of things that they don’t know. On the last day, we left with tears, students woke up early on weekends to come to school to say goodbye to us. AID gave me opportunities to explore my limits and the best memories ever.
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Tang, Shuoh-Fuu (唐碩甫)
Post AID

The 4 weeks have been a new learning experience, Having the opportunity to teach English to rural children and hopefully inspiring them to take an interest in the language. At first I thought it would be easy to teach a bunch of elementary school kids but that proved me wrong. There are a lot of time and effort that goes into planning lesson plans. There were many moments where I just want to rest whilst teaching but I managed to pull through. Being posted at ChiaYi Renhe Elementary school was very exciting where we had to be accustomed to the wide variety of bugs and also encounters with snakes. I loved my students and will definitely miss them. I have also formed many new friendships over the course of the programme. One thing I can take away from this experience is that with enough perseverance and effort anything can be done.
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