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  • As much as I love my classes, I'm acutely aware of how restricted my students and I

  • feel in terms of communicating on a deeper level

  • Sometimes, it's funny-- we speak really slowly and use over-the top body

  • language to express our thoughts

  • Teaching on Jinmen I've develop the enthusiasm of a game show host

  • but other times our pantomimes seem more like an exercise in frustration

  • I once had a student stand over my desk trying to explain to me something

  • upsetting that happened at her home that morning

  • a fact I later learned from her homeroom teacher

  • Of course, there's nothing I'd rather do than forge that kind of relationship

  • with my students

  • the one where we could discuss their feelings or at least discuss topics

  • more stimulating

  • than what time did you go to bed? but for reasons beyond our control,

  • this kind of verbal relationship is out of the question. that's why dance,

  • the universal language, has become such an meaningful part of my daily routine here.

  • It's through dance that I feel I can finally collaborate with my students in a way

  • that's significant and challenging for both parties to the encounter.

  • we had this idea to organize a flashmob on Jinmen

  • We figured it would be fun to introduce this phenomenon to our small

  • island,

  • we knew we could garner spectators and interest in a short amount of time.

  • We also wanted to do more than just teach a dance class, we wanted to create

  • a dance community

  • with in which students all across the island could work together towards a final goal.

  • It's been a pleasure traveling to the various schools,

  • and meeting new students.

  • Everyone seemed to enjoy the choreography element of the flashingmob,

  • but more than that- they were excited by the opportunity to take part in

  • something that reached beyond their campus walls.

  • Where language has failed us, dance has provided an outlet for creative

  • self-expression,

  • and has served as an instrument for building connections

  • As a student, I always enjoyed learning outside of the classroom.

  • Now, as a new teacher I strive to create a space for students to learn

  • English with their bodies and minds,

  • whether through swimming, dance, or flash mobbin' the local square with students

  • from around the island.

  • Having lived in a cross-cultural context for five months,

  • I continue to realize how healthy integration of verbal communication

  • and bodily cues is crucial for effective communication.

  • So in the classroom, I want to teach my kids that learning English can be more

  • than memorizing vocabulary

  • and that it can ultimately be a creative outlet. My thinking is that if we can have fun

  • and let it all out while moving within foreign

  • language, well not only ignite new communication skills,

  • but also meet each other in a new realm. At my school's anniversary celebration in

  • the November,

  • I was able to watch my students interact and move around outside

  • of class through traditional druming performances, contemporary dance and

  • sports contents.

  • Arthur, a back-row hooligan in the fourth grade, wowed me with his expressive

  • drumming, and inspired me

  • to further incorporate music and movement into my teaching.

  • Similarly, I've strengthened my relationship with my LET outside of school through

  • aerobics class

  • at the local university, where I pracice my Chinese and express myself to a

  • different beat.

  • I hope that these teaching methods instill confidence within the students to

  • communicate with whichever tools are most comfortable

  • and natural for them. While living in a foreign country

  • with an unfamiliar language, it would have been easy to come home after school each

  • day

  • and retreat my own Eglish-speaking bubble within the Fulbright community.

  • This would have required less effort and energy than racking my brain to use my

  • limited Chinese to communicate with locals.

  • But then I would have missed out on Jinmen's many cultural offerings as well as

  • the opportunity to meet

  • the friendly people call Jinmen HOME. I decided to involve myself in the

  • community

  • by registering for classes at the Community College. Since my go-to

  • phrases of

  • "where's the bathroom?" and "I would like a bowl of beef noodle soup"

  • were little use in class, I was forced to improve my Chinese communication skills.

  • One reason that I joined a traditional Chinese dance class to participate

  • without needing to understand every word the teachers said.

  • Dance is a universal language through which ideas and emotions can be expressed

  • I was able to develop relationships with some women in the clss

  • through our shared interest in expression through movement.

  • Chinese dance also motivated me to learn more about the local culture.

  • I look forward to sharing what I learned in this dance class with my future

  • students in the states,

  • just as I was able to share aspects of American culture through dance with my

  • students in Jinmen.

  • In the fall, i switch schools and began working at Jihu Elementry.

  • Participating in the Jinmen and flashmob has enabled me to continue a

  • relationship with my former students.

  • On weekends, I wake up early in the morning

  • to meet with my former students -whom, of their own accord,

  • gather in the sixth grade classroom of the school campus to dance

  • I remember walking into the classroom at Zhong Zheng elementary

  • in the morning and facing a classroom

  • of excited, sleepy, bewildered and intrigued sixth graders.

  • I performed the dance for them and some were immediately excited

  • and some were hesitant and skeptical.

  • In the end, the entire classroom was learning the dance and enjoying themselves.

  • The particular dance and i tought- the "skelewu"

  • is a Nigerian dance currently circulating in the African media

  • as well as internationally.

  • Prior to coming here, I never would have imagined sharing my Nigerian American

  • heritage

  • through dance with students on Jinmen. Moreover,

  • I nI never would have thought that teaching thithis dance would have strengthened our

  • relationship.

  • Dance is a wonderful medium because it tells a story without words,

  • and through this experience I have been able to teach my students not the steps

  • of a dancing toutine,

  • but about diversity.

  • The beautiful thing about dance is that you don't need words to communicate.

  • At the beginning of the year, my Taiwanese colleagues were friendly and welcoming,

  • but I was certainly aware of the barrier between us. My limited

  • Chinese and their limited English restricted our communication.

  • From September through November, all of the teachers at my school attended a weekly

  • aerobics dance class together.

  • In this environment, we all felt silly and out of our comfort zones,

  • shaking our hips and doing the cha cha but it helped break

  • the ice.

  • Through these classes, I was able to get to know my coworkers

  • in a sace that felt less formal and where I felt less conscious

  • of differences between us.

  • As time went on, my coworkers started to reach out to me,

  • inviting me to chat me relax over tea or dinner after school.

  • The culmination of our aerobics class was a teacher performance at our school's

  • 100th

  • anniversary.

  • It was quite a show, matching outfits and all.

  • I felt like a real part of my school's family, like I was among friends.

  • My relationships have continued to grow, and now,

  • teachers are more willing to help me in the classroom when I'm teaching alone,

  • and are more open to trying to communicate with me in English.

  • Whhile the improvement in our relationship is obviously due to

  • the increase comfort that grows with time, I really do credit our dance class

  • for providing the platform upon which I have been able

  • to cultivte this friendships.

  • My teaching experience in Jinmen has been an adventure. I didn't know what to expect in terms of

  • the student's English skills, and I was nervous about teaching upper elementary

  • at the age kids are sassy. The school year started off smoothly and has continued to be so.

  • Forming a good relationship with my student is important to me,

  • and I believe I was able to do that both in and out of class.

  • In class I've tried to teach through fun, dynamic and coopertive and activities.

  • These classes offer me opportunities to get to know my students and for them to gain

  • confidence.

  • Of course, no class is perfect-

  • some students are shy while others are nughty. Connecting with these students

  • can be difficult, especially since some classes have up to 20 students.

  • That's why I enjoy time outside of class, such as lunch or extracurricular

  • activities,

  • when I can see my students in other environments and learn about their talents.

  • Most of my older students have become interested in English language

  • an American culture- often through songs, movies, or music videos.

  • Having seen how much my students enjoy music and dance, I knew that our project would

  • be perfect for them.

  • When Leah visited my school to help teach the dance, many were both excited

  • and nervous, some of the dance moves were difficult and the sassier your students wanted to give up

  • almost immediately,

  • but I knew they just needed an extra push and more practice to realize their potential.

  • We practice again the next day, breaking down each part slowly

  • so everyone could master the steps.

  • Even though some students complained, class always ended in laughter and smiles.

  • I enjoy teaching the dnce because it gave me another opportunity

  • to connect with my students and help them over come a challenge.

  • I think they were excited to be in class with no pressure.

  • They were also excited to learned the same dace as so many other students in Jinmen.

  • All of their hard work finally came together in the final performance.

  • Performing the flashmob in Shanwai bus station was exhilarating-

  • family and friends came to watch us all dance

  • Locals waiting for the bus aslo pleasantly surprised.

  • By channeling some students' more negative attitudes into a positive activity,

  • help them realize that mixing dance and sass can only produce

  • one thing: Swag

As much as I love my classes, I'm acutely aware of how restricted my students and I

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B1 中級

ダイナミックな対話 金門閃快舞 (A Dynamic Dialogue 金門快閃舞)

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    凱雯 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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