The main goal of “More Reading, More Happiness” activity was to inspire children in the remote areas to like reading so that they can develop different views. We wanted children to be interested in reading from the bottom of their hearts, so that even if we are not accompanying them, the children would read automatically. Therefore, when I was leading the reading activity, I kept thinking what kind of overall reading method would make everyone feel relaxed and cultivate an environment that children would feel more reassured so they can speak freely or answer questions, and not worry about what the correct answer is. 

This is the first time I lead so many people in a reading class, I was very anxious. When I was reading the first book, my voice was not very natural and I was out of the words quickly.  And sometimes I didn’t know how to control my time. In many cases, I was so determined to follow the planned schedule and content, once the tempo was disrupted, I became panic and didn’t know what to do.  And when I was teaching the children to fold paper or play board games, I was bothered with not knowing how to explain the process more clearly.  Fortunately, there were other teachers there to help me.

Over the next few days, these concerns slowly subsided, maybe because I got acquainted with the children and the nervousness gradually reduced. Or maybe it was because after the first day of experience, the teaching process just become smoother. In these few days of activities, the most rewarding was to see children’s earnest eyes and their enthusiastic responses. This made me feel that those time in selecting the materials and preparing was very much worth the time. 

We also arranged hand-made work, the first was to introduce their own home, the second was to make a small book and last one was to make a wish card.  In the beginning when they come up on the stage to share their work, everyone was generally shy.  But after training in the classroom, slowly they seem to get used to this model.  Later, I asked them to come on stage to publish their works, their oral description and expression skills were getting much better, from a few simple words to a series of sentences. There was a lot of progress. While playing the board game “Shining Fast”, I observed that everyone’s thinking mode was different.  Some kids start from color and some from shape, hence in the future, we also needed to be more diverse in preparing our courses too.

This time in Sichuan during the “More Reading, More Happiness” activity, the most difficult thing was to say goodbye to these children.  I think they are a group of very warm and naughty children, and I thank them for giving me the opportunity to learn how to lead teaching activity.  It is really an unforgettable experience.

~Volunteer Yi-Ting