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30 UCPS teachers learn Chinese culture in Nanjing

Thirty Union County teachers are in Nanjing, China, to help support the success of the summer cultural teaching experience at bilingual summer camp.

This summer, some Union County teachers are enjoying their “time off” in China.

As part of a cultural exchange program managed by Marvin Ridge High School, thirty Union County teachers are in Nanjing, China to help support the success of the summer cultural teaching experience at bilingual summer camp.

Since arriving in Xi’an on June 30 the teachers have immersed themselves in Chinese culture. They have climbed Huashan Mountain, walked atop the city wall, visited the giant wild goose pagoda, and gazed upon the eighth wonder of the world…the Terracotta Warriors Museum.

After flying from Xi’an to Nanjing on July 3 everyone celebrated Independence Day by teaching their first day of conversational English to their students.

For two weeks, the “China group” will continue to teach lessons to fourth - ninth grade students in Nanjing. Along the way, the teachers will continue to learn about Chinese culture. From practicing tai chi, to sketching calligraphy, to cooking up a traditional Chinese meal, it’s an experience of a lifetime.

As Alice Dover, fifth-grade teacher at Marvin Elementary puts it, “This experience has reminded me how important it is to be flexible as a teacher. I’ve had to reach deep into my ‘toolbox.’ When I get back to the States, I will remember the teachable moments I’ve had in China, and remember to use all the tricks in my bag. I can’t wait to get back and start all over again.”

When camp ends on July 16 some teachers will come home to North Carolina. However, many will continue their experience in Beijing. During their stay, they will visit the Temple of Heaven, Tiananmen Square, the Olympic Village, and the Great Wall. It’s a trip that lasts until July 20 when they will make their way home to prepare for the 2014-15 school year.

Written by: Damien Hazel, a third-grade teacher at Marvin Elementary School
Posted: Jul 09, 2014 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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