Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Is it worthwhile?

For the past few months, I have been helping teach English at a school for the children of migrant workers.  China does not provide social services such as school, healthcare, retirement, etc to its citizens if they have moved out of their own province.  Schools like these are set up in an effort to provide an education to these children who are living so far from their home. 

I've been a bit skeptical at whether the students will actually benefit from learning English, but I have enjoyed going and seeing another facet of ife in Shanghai. 

Recently, I remembered something from Peace Corps ... that often what a volunteer does will only affect one or two people; and that is considered a victory.  It has changed my perspective on what we do with these kids, made me feel excited that perhaps it will be possible to make a positive impact on one of these.  And in the meantime, I will just enjoy being with them and seeing their beautiful faces.

Singing Old MacDonald (with hand motions) with our 3rd grade class.
The young man above here, was burned on his arm with boiling water when he was two...

At lunchtime, the student all go wash their bowls that they must bring with them to school.  Many students are also employed to help carrying large bowls and pots of food to the various classrooms.

Once they are done eating, many of the students come to our room to play games or shyly observe us.

Since this was our last week, all of the 5th, 6th, 7th & 8th graders were in one room to watch The Sound of Music.  It was very sweet to hear them all sing along to Edelweiss.
With my small group of fifth graders ...