Teaching the Teacher

“Okay, class is done.” No reaction. “Class has ended. The end.” I make a chopping movement with my hands. Still no reaction. I point to the clock. “Class is finished.” Still, 39 faces peer blankly back at me. “Class is over,” I try again. As if by magic, the students collectively murmur out “OH”s. This…

elision

In Ashley Zhou’s words: He’s a quiet boy. Tall, sixteen years old and almost a man among a class of twelve-, thirteen-, fourteen-year-olds who bustle about, vibrating with repressed energy and noise. His mother sighs. He’s been quiet a long time now, she tells me. He didn’t always used to be this way. When he…

A Teacher and Her Ability to Defy Entropy

When I first arrived at Dandelion and met my homeroom teacher, she laughed with delight and gave me a hug. I remember the excitement that I felt when I saw her broad smile, and my worries that I would have difficulties with my teacher slowly began to melt away. However, new worries arose when I…

Goals

[[From the Desk of Jennifer Marlow]] My homeroom teacher is a boss. He’s got the swagger. He’s got the cool, stoic, and collected personality. And he’s also got 37 seventh grade children to maintain. One of the consistent goals of my time here at Dandelion thus far is to get to know my homeroom teacher….

pastiche

In Ashley Zhou’s words: Middle school was subjectively the worst time of my life. Raging hormones, growing pains, and obnoxious boys plagued my daily existence. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that my students are going through the same trials and tribulations. I liked school, but I still remember the agonizing way time seemed to be…

Bridge

On weekdays, the bell sounds off at 12PM for lunch. After picking up food from the teachers’ cafeteria, there are three options: Eat with my students. Most of the time, this is what I do. Like the rest of the school’s students, the 39 kids of 7(4) are scattered in small groups among the basketball…

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…