[posted on behalf of Abby D.]
What an exhausting but memorable day. Today we visited several schools in Weihai. In the morning, half of the group visited a middle school and the other half visited an elementary school. We were treated to tours of each school, which included dance performances, art exhibits, calligraphy demonstrations and much more. At these schools we also taught short lessons to groups of middle and high school students who are in summer programs to learn English. Students, visiting parents, and observing teachers all loved the lessons and expressed their appreciation for our teachers’ work. Helen and Anne O. were even interviewed by a local TV station that was covering our visit.
After lunch, our group split again to visit additional schools. Two of the schools we visited had a focus on the arts, and the student work we observed was unbelievable. Even elementary students were creating beautiful calligraphy and brush paintings.
In addition to classroom observation, we were able to sit with teachers and administrators from the schools and exchange questions. The Tiancun Elementary School seemed quite innovative. They had a particular focus on parent involvement, and the principal described the many ways they help parents to support their children at home and help them to be successful students.
The day ended with a banquet hosted by the Chair of the Weihai Education Association. It was a bit overwhelming to absorb so much in one day, but the welcomes we received were so warm and hospitable. We will never forget the experience.
Photos: 1) a young student doing calligraphy, 2) Annie O. and Helen being interviewed, 3) the audience for some of our lessons, 4) elementary students drawing
Video: dance performance