It's a new year and a new website! And we're pleased to introduce Lindelwa Msimang as our first teacher of the month for 2020! She is from Durban, South Africa, and has been teaching at Kid Castle for the past four months at our Beiyangjing branch. She recently joined our blogging team so make sure to check out her range of posts detailing her experiences in China so far.
What is your favorite part of teaching?
I really enjoy making connections with people, so I’d say my favorite part of teaching is making a connection with my students. Especially students who started off struggling or crying before each class, but once they’ve made a connection with you, their eyes light up when they see you and they start getting excited about learning.
What is your go-to game/teaching activity?
My go-to game has to be the hammer game and the chaircase game. These are both great for evaluating your students' individual understanding and which concepts or words you need to revisit for the benefit of all your students.
⁃ Hammer game: place different flashcards on the floor, give a student the hammer and they must pick the correct flashcard.
⁃ Chaircase game: place different flashcards on different baby chairs, your student must sit on the correct chair with the correct flashcard. You can expand this to add a conversation (eg: "What can you do?" And the student must answer using the vocabulary word they are sitting on eg: "I can dance.”). For older students you can pick one student from each team, the student that sits first and answers correctly gets stars.
What is your most memorable in-class moment?
I had a student who used to scream and cry before each class, to the point where the whole school would hear her screams. She was so reluctant to enter my class that she would hold onto the wall not wanting to come into the classroom. So I started allowing the student to enter the class with her parents for two lessons, all the while trying to forge a connection and bond with her. In the third lesson l asked the mother to leave the class halfway through the lesson. Ever since then she doesn’t cry in my class and she participates the most in my class. I feel so proud of her achievement and growth.
What do you love most about life in China?
Shanghai is a cultural melting pot bringing different cultures from different parts of the world together in one city. This makes it easier to find a taste of home somewhere in the city. China is also very tech-savvy, making it easy to bring the things you need wherever you go. With apps like Taobao and Eleme designed to make your life more convenient.
Word of advice for new teachers coming to China...
Because China is so tech-centered, this makes it quite difficult to make human connections, so remember to drop your phone and look up, what you see might surprise you.