Jack teaches migrant children

China

I am Jack Stanley from Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong. We met earlier today during the International Award reception at WISS. I would like to first state my appreciation for the entire event, especially the opportunity to meet HRH Prince Edward. You requested that I share my experiences with working with migrant children. I regret not being able to recount my experiences to you in person during the event, but I will do my best to do so here.

My experiences with the children of migrant workers in Shanghai was mostly through a programme run by my school where students from Dulwich would teach English to students from a migrant school for one hour every week. Students were expected to plan and execute lessons independently from teachers. Students would often work in groups of two to five, and would teach English to the same group of migrant students every time. I was a part of this programme from 2014-2016, and in these two years, I became increasingly able to independently develop lessons for a specific group, and take into account the needs and desires of each individual student. Over time, I used a wider variety of resources, having previously relied only on a provided textbook. I embraced modern multimedia resources such as instructional videos and the computer program Duolingo in order to be more flexible during the lessons. In 2016 I decided to teach English to disabled adults instead, due to scheduling conflicts, and remained in the new programme for one year. I was able to transfer the skills that I acquired from teaching migrant children to my new position, and I believe that teaching the adults was made easier because of my prior experience. Both programmes opened me to the way of life of both migrant children and disabled adults in Shanghai, and this allowed me to adopt a wider, more inclusive world view.

Additionally, in June 2017, I travelled to a small village in Sichuan, China, to volunteer at a community centre for children in the village. I was part of a group of four volunteers, and I was the youngest member on the trip. My group was responsible for planning and carrying out one day of activities and lessons for the children, and I was assigned to teach English as I am a native speaker. There were approximately 50 children in total at the community centre, and I was to teach English to all of them simultaneously. It was by far the largest group that I had worked with, and preparing for the lessons was very challenging. However, I was able to use my preexisting knowledge of teaching, and my lesson was well received. Working with children in their village as opposed to in Shanghai presented me with a number of challenges. In Shanghai, I had become accustomed to using technology to help my lessons, but in the village, technology was much more limited than in Shanghai. This meant that I was unable to show videos or use the Duolingo programme, as the community centre did not have an internet connection. I reverted to my original methods of teaching, using only a prepared PowerPoint presentation and a blackboard. I feel that this experience in the village built upon my prior background with teaching English.