Teaching Style

Madeline: The best kind of teacher is the kind that takes the time to truly connect with his or her students, the kind that sees teaching as not just a job or an occupation, but a chance to influence the lives of children. At Dandelion, I’ve discovered that there are quite a few of these…

moiety

In Ashley Zhou’s words: When I return from Beijing, tanner and probably thinner and most definitely disoriented, I will inevitably have to field questions about what I did over the summer. My answer will probably be “oh, I taught English in Beijing with DukeEngage” or something to that effect, elaboration contingent upon the asker’s conveyed…

No Man is an Island

Thoughts from Kat. Home is something I’ve always carried with me, like a turtle and its shell. Wherever I travel, I generally feel at ease, my shell shielding me from feelings of alienation and difference. Despite never visiting China or even the eastern hemisphere, I approached this trip with discreet hubris. I felt so comfortable within…

Week 1

I wake up to a ringing alarm. Someone yells out the time, “It’s 6:07.” Collective grumbles throughout. Then, stillness as we all try to soak in the few remaining minutes before the daily morning jog. At 6:20AM, the P.E. teacher blows his whistle–over 100 uniformed students, evenly spaced out in rows, start jogging around the…

Skills Inventory: Dove Calls

[[from the desk of Jennifer Marlow]] Scene: (The Marketplace Cafeteria on Duke’s East Campus. Duke Engage Academy. Cue “Skills Inventory” exercise) Our site coordinator gives us slips of paper and asks us to fill out two columns: Hard skills and Soft skills. What are things that we bring with us professionally as we prepare to…

palimpsest

In Ashley Zhou’s words: It feels good to be back. It’s such a presumptive, loaded statement, one that assumes some form of ownership over this vast, sprawling, beautiful, nonsensical country. But it’s true. It does feel good to be back. Though I did not grow up in China, I cannot help but help feel a…

Communication

by Madeline Wilkerson . Communication is hard. It’s difficult when your Chinese isn’t good enough to match the Chinese of the seventh graders’ you teach. Their English is essentially beginner’s level, but you want to get to know these kids. You want to know who they are, what they’re really like, what their wants and…