Davidson’s Liberal Arts Preparation for Teaching

When I arrived in Hong Kong, I felt vastly unprepared for what the summer had in store for me. I had never taught before, had never been to Asia, and was still quite unsure about the structure of the program itself. I did not even know how I was going to get from the airport to my hostel. Luckily, an administrator of the program picked me up and put me in a cab, and started explaining the logistics of how the summer would play out. What I learned over the next 8 weeks was that Davidson College had actually prepared me for this journey as well as it could have by giving me the tools to tackle things that I could not prepare for.

 

From creating curriculum, to employing it, to adapting it based on the response, it takes a lot of hard work and flexibility. Going into this summer, there was no way for me to have known the level of English or the personalities of the students I was going to be teaching. Therefore, I was well aware that the outlined curriculum I had planned was subject to change. However, I did not realize just how much it would have to change.

 

My Davidson experience equipped me with the ability to be flexible and adaptive to whatever my students threw my way, persistent in my commitment to my students, and holistic in my approach to understanding my students’ backgrounds. Whether that was making my curriculum more engaging, incorporating a topic they wanted to learn more about, or accommodating more learning styles, my class was constantly evolving. There were several students who were quite difficult to deal with at the beginning of the program. It would have been very easy for me to think they did not want to learn and ignore them in an effort to accommodate the other students. However, by meeting many different people from different backgrounds at Davidson, I learned there is more than meets the eye. Taking a holistic approach was invaluable to reaching my students.

 

Many of them had to wake up very early to travel several hours to get to school. Many were unable to afford a good breakfast to start off the day right, so they had trouble staying awake and focusing. Some students were either disinterested or acting out and making jokes because they had trouble understanding the language. For these students, it was essential not to discredit their desire to learn, but to be persistent and work even harder to engage and simplify the material so everyone could thrive.

 

My liberal arts education at Davidson prepared me for this summer, and equipped me with the skillset to adapt to whatever challenged I faced.

 

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Summerbridge Hong Kong Island School Teachers 2016

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Summerbridge Hong Kong Island School Staff and Students 2016

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