Switching roles: students become teachers

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Joy T. (’20) engages with her students at Yu-Nong Elementary School. [Photo Courtesy of Yu-Nong Elementary School]

While most students spend their day absorbing information from lectures and sitting through long classes, not many get to have the experience of being a teacher. The Blue & Gold explores the lives of two Upper School students who are also tutors. 

Kai M. (’21)

As a private student tutor, Kai M. (‘21) has been teaching local students (ages five through ten) English for about a year now.
Kai assists his students by teaching them basic grammar tools such as phonics and new vocabulary, as well as reading comprehension. “When you teach [the students] something and they actually employ the skill, you feel very accomplished,” Kai said. 
He also focuses on conversing and reading books with them rather than following a strict curriculum. By chatting with them purely in English, Kai finds this type of teaching “much more engaging and enjoyable” while still bolstering their listening skills.
However, with the many benefits of tutoring younger children, Kai finds that there are also some challenges. Since many of his students are young, they are less inclined to learn and he often has to work harder to grab their attention to keep his tutoring sessions engaging.
Despite this, Kai finds his job as a tutor a great learning experience as he is able to revisit some English basics that he had long forgotten. He strongly encourages other students to try tutoring others. “Do it, it’s a good life experience,” Kai said.

Joy T. (’20)

As a member of the World Enrichment Initiative (WEI) club at Taipei American School, Joy T. (‘20) spends her Friday afternoons as a student-teacher tutoring students in Yu-Nong Elementary School. 
Joy mainly works with groups of fifth graders, teaching them English through games. The students first take a test to be matched with students of the same language ability as them, and are then paired with a teacher from the WEI club. Since many of the students from local schools are limited to information from textbooks, the club takes a more engaging approach through their teaching. 
She enjoys being able to make a change in the lives of her students, and  being around the kids. “I just get so happy when their faces light up the moment they see you,” Joy said.
As a student and teacher, Joy enjoys being able to teach things that students cannot learn in the classroom and the excitement the local students feel when they get to learn with her and highly encourages other students to participate in the World of Enrichment Club.