Parent Teacher Magazine Union County Public Schools Sept/Oct 2017 - Page 9

UCPS educators have the “experience of a lifetime” during cultural exchange trip to China Since 2010, the teachers are dozens of Union soul-shapers. And County Public that’s exactly it Schools (UCPS) and that’s exactly teachers have why we do what traveled to Nanjing, we do. Having that China every summer bond – hopefully to teach English they can take that to students. The back and remember annual trip -- which the teachers from is the result of a America they met.” partnership among As she prepares Marvin Ridge High, for the new the High School school year, Kate affiliated to Nanjing said she plans to Normal University look for ways to and the Asia incorporate some Society’s Confucius of her experiences Classroom Network into lessons with UCPS educators recently traveled to China to teach English to students. The annual trip -- is an opportunity students. With -- which is the result of a partnership among Marvin Ridge High, the High School affiliated for UCPS staff to Western Union to Nanjing Normal University and the Asia Society’s Confucius Classroom Network --is an increase their global Elementary opportunity for UCPS staff to increase their global awareness and appreciation for other awareness and implementing a cultures. appreciation for other global initiative cultures. this year, she will have the So when Western Union opportunity to talk to students Elementary Assistant Principal about her trip. Kate Anderson learned about the “It doesn’t have to be based opportunity to participate in the on the school part of my trip. I program this summer, she jumped can talk more about the cultural at the chance to go. exchange,” she said. “They “I just believe in learning, learned from us as we learned growing and traveling because from them.” the more you learn about other Indira Soto, a Splash cultures, the more you grow as a Language Immersion teacher at person,” she said. “I was hoping to Western Union Elementary, said learn more about their educational her experiences in China provided system, but more than anything her with an opportunity to else, being a global person helps reflect on the importance of her give you a better perspective on culture, language and behavior everything.” in comparison with another After spending a few days culture. When asked what kind After spending a few days touring China, Western Union touring China, Kate and her Elementary Assistant Principal Kate Anderson and her colleagues of impact she hopes she made colleagues spent two weeks on the students in China, Indira spent two weeks teaching English to students in fourth – ninth grades at the Sino-American Bilingual Summer Camp. teaching English to students in said she ultimately hopes the fourth – ninth grades at the Sino- Chinese students understand the things like, what is a picnic basket or what American Bilingual Summer Camp. importance of being bilingual. is a sleepover? If I want to name a fruit, Teaching in two 90-minute blocks to “I wanted them to learn from me that can I name it in English and Chinese and the camp’s youngest students, Kate said you can make your dreams come true,” she not just Chinese?” most of her lessons were spent reviewing said. “I am proof of that.” Although the rising fourth graders very basic English. Many of her students Want to learn more about what the spoke very little English, Kate said, having had taken one class of English for only teachers did during their trip to China? the opportunity to build a bond with them one year, she said, and this was their first Check out Weddington Middle Assistant was the true opportunity of a lifetime. summer camp and their first time being Principal Brian Gray’s blog about their time “My favorite part about the entire trip away from home. spent overseas. was the relationships you make with the —This article was provided by the Union “I had to learn how to say ‘stop that’ kids,” she said, adding that she cried when County Public Schools Communications in Chinese because they didn’t understand she left her students. “In China, they say Office. it in English,” she said. “So we worked on Parent Teacher Magazine • Sept/Oct 2017 • 7