故事9 | Sam: At Home in the Classroom

       
我在中国的家 2022
故事9 | Sam: At Home in the Classroom

作者:Sam Keir

翻译:潘泽彬

校对:Luz、Zuzana、Joanne

Getting to Xiamen

来到厦门

I am a bit of a self-confessed teaching geek. Both my parents, a sister, uncle and in-laws work in various education roles in the UK. My teenage-self swore I would never be a teacher because of this! By accident or design, I find myself a High School English teacher at Chiway-Repton School in Xiamen. 

我自认为是一名教书匠。父母、姐姐、叔叔和公婆都在英国从事教育工作。十几岁的我曾发誓,永远不要当老师。不知是否是天意使然,我还是成为了一名老师,在厦门华锐莱普顿学校教高中英语。

After teaching in Thailand for two years, my journey in China began in 2015. In a small city (1,000,000 people) outside of Wenzhou in Zhejiang Province. I was blown away by the sights and smells of the Walking Streets where grills, bowls and tables heaved under the weight of delicious snacks. I was also deafened by the loudness of the local Wenzhou dialect being thrown around the streets. Apparently, it is so complex that it has been used as a military code in the past.

2015 年我的中国之旅正式起航,在这之前我在泰国当了两年老师。我来到浙江温州以外的一个小城市(100万人口)。步行街散发着烟火气息,令我震撼,烤架、碗碟和餐桌在美食的重压下显得格外沉重。街上人们响亮的温州话震耳欲聋。温州话确实非常复杂,过去曾用作军事密码。

I made some great friends there and attended my first Chinese wedding with over 400 people. As I settled in to life in China, the value that Chinese parents put on education really began to shine through. This can come across as a little extreme in some cases, but on the whole, the education of children is central to the success of the family and the society as a whole, and I really respect that.

我在那里结识了一些好朋友,第一次见识了 400 多人参加的中式婚礼。在中国安定下来后,我开始注意到中国父母对孩子的教育非常重视,虽然有时会显得有些极端,但总体而言,孩子的教育对家庭乃至整个社会至关重要。我真的很尊重中国父母的想法。

Education, Education, Education–Left behind children

教育、教育、教育,为了留守儿童

In the summer of 2019, after moving to bright and clean Xiamen, I was looking for a volunteer project to keep me busy for a couple of weeks in the summer. After connecting with Stepping Stones, an NGO in Shanghai, I was placed with a summer camp for ‘left-behind’ children in the Yong Kang area of Zhejiang. This really made me experience a different side of China. I had explored a number of bigger cities at this point and was taken aback by the relaxed and chilled rural life there. We taught in the morning and later had time to explore the fields, mountains and even rode in a hot air balloon!

2019 年夏天,我搬到了明净的厦门,然后一直在寻找志愿项目,让我在接下来几周保持忙碌的状态。我与上海的一个非政府组织“铺路石”(Stepping Stones) 取得联系,他们安排我去浙江永康地区的“留守儿童”夏令营工作。这确实让我体验到不一样的中国。我已经游览过中国的一些大城市,仍对那里宁静闲适的乡村生活感到吃惊。我们上午授课,一得空就去山野间探险,坐热气球!

Alongside another volunteer from Shenzhen, we learned about the difficult childhoods these kids have had. Growing up in villages where a large proportion of the adults have migrated to cities in search of work. Some of the kids wouldn’t see their parents for two years at a time. The local volunteers there were left-behind children themselves and they were acting as stand-in parents for many children. It was heart-warming to see the extended family and support network they were creating around the children. Inspired by these stories, I decided to write my MSc dissertation on the topic of left-behind children and the community groups supporting them. To learn more myself, and I believed it would benefit my High School students in Xiamen to learn about how other children grow up in China.

我与一位来自深圳的志愿者一起工作,我们了解到这些孩子的童年十分艰难。他们在村子里长大,但村子里大部分成年人都已到城市里谋生。有些孩子已有两年没见过父母了。当地的志愿者曾经也是留守儿童,他们充当的就是父母的角色。志愿者与孩子们组成一个大家庭,互爱互助,真是令人感动。受到这些故事的启发,我决定以留守儿童和支持他们的社会团体为主题撰写硕士论。我想深入了解他们的故事,然后讲给我在厦门的学生听,让他们了解留守儿童的成长历程,我相信他们定会受益匪浅。

Wanting to continue after graduation, I connected with Zuzana and we organised volunteer teaching at Guanren Library & the Bird Nest Kindergarten for migrant children. The highlight of this for me was watching my own students excel as responsible classroom teachers. Shy students came out of their shells to teach, prepare lessons and look after children, who took great delight in having some strangers come to their classroom and teach them English. At the mention of education, I had the full support of school administrators, parents and a core team of students who wanted to give their time and energy. 

我毕业后想继续做志愿工作,于是我与 Zuzana 联系,组织学生在官任图书馆和鸟巢幼儿园给外来务工子女上课。这是我的高光时刻,因为我看到自己的学生成为了负责任的老师,表现非常出色。向来腼腆的学生从舒适区中走出来,教书、备课、照顾孩子,孩子们见到陌生人进入教室,教他们英语,也感到非常高兴。这次志愿教育活动,得到了学校管理层、家长和愿意付出时间和精力的学生核心团队的全力支持。

I have continued and completed a further summer camp for migrant children in Tong’an and during the pandemic teaching continued online and will probably change the way education can be delivered in some positive ways. My current school hopes to continue to work with local education groups in Xiamen and beyond. In my day job, I am lucky to work with some of the most privileged families and students who have dreams of top universities and studying abroad. I hope for those students who do choose to volunteer that they see how lucky they are and not everyone gets the opportunities they have had. 

我还在同安为外来务工子女举办了一个夏令营,疫情期间,教学活动继续在网上进行,教育方式可能会迎来积极的转变。我目前工作的学校希望能继续与厦门当地的甚至厦门以外的教育团体合作。我很幸运能与最优秀的家庭和学生一起工作,他们梦想着上顶级大学、出国留学。我希望那些选择做志愿者的学生能知道他们是多么幸运,并不是每个人都拥有与他们一样的机会。

Ten years of teaching later, I continue to be amazed by the passion and dedication of teachers here. One aspect that has stood out for me is the individuals who have devoted their entire lives to helping others through education. From the volunteers in Yong Kang, to Mr Ding who runs the migrant library network in Xiamen, and Sun Laoshi who converted half her house into a library and school in Tong’an. Educating children, and often books are central to their plans for getting the best opportunities for the students around them. I have only met a very small number, but I am sure there are many more all over China. 

十年的教书生涯过去了,我仍为中国教师的热忱和奉献精神感到惊讶,他们将自己的一生都奉献给教书育人事业,令我印象深刻:永康的志愿者、在厦门经营移动图书馆的丁先生,以及同安将自己一半的房子改造成图书馆和学校的孙老师。书籍往往是教育事业的核心,能为学生们带来最优质的机会。如此奉献的人,我只见过极少数,但我相信在中国各地还有许许多多这样的人。

Xiamen is a special place with lots of talented locals and expats working in volunteer and educational roles. In many ways it reminds me of my university city, Bristol in England. Currently I am working alongside a group of 25 writers who are passionate about writing short stories for a Young Adult audience. We hope to inspire more High School students to read in English by creating stories they will find engaging. We hope to also turn this project into a fundraising endeavour in the future and publish a free e-book to share with teachers. This writing project has proved more popular than initially expected and we are hoping to begin a face-to-face Creative Writing Workshop very soon. We aim to meet twice a month, and writers can share anything they have written; receive feedback and critique of their work. The written word is powerful and has so far brought together writers from China and various countries around the world through stories. 

厦门是一个独特的城市,这里有很多才华横溢的当地人和外国人,从事志愿和教育工作。厦门让我想起了我的大学城,英国布里斯托尔。目前,我正与一个由 25 名作家组成的团队一起工作,他们热衷于为青少年读者写短篇小说。我们希望通过创作有吸引力的小说来激发更多高中生阅读英文。我们希望将来这个项目能募集资金,出版一本免费的电子书,与老师们分享。这个项目比预期更受欢迎,我们希望召开面对面的创意写作工作坊。我们的目标是每月碰两次面,作家们可以分享他们写的任何东西,接受反馈和批评。文字的力量是强大的,我们已经通过小说把中国和世界各国的作家们聚集在一起。

Happy Reading & Writing to you all! Look out for the free Sabre Short Stories (Volume 1) coming in summer 2022.

祝大家开心阅读,快乐写作!《Sabre 短篇小说》(第一卷)将于今夏出版,免费阅读,敬请期待。


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Home Away From Home 2022

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  2. Le fabuleux destin « sucré » de Melody. Par Melody Pace (French)
  3. My Blessed Guangzhou Life. Namrata Motiani
  4. Life’s a Beach. Anvita Ramakrishna
  5. Choosing China. Gerhard Uys (Ace)
  6. Faith in Xiamen. Faith Bautista
  7. PEACEFULNESS IS HOME TO ME Ali Adat
  8. My unique person Casey Ellzey
  9. Sam: At Home in the Classroom
  10. Ann: Guangzhou – my home in South East China
  11. Maria: Xiamen fever
  12. Daniel: The “link” between Xiamen and Medieval Europe
  13. Joanne Ko: F**k, I’m American
  14. Mea: Finding a Home in China
  15. Paige: Neighborly
  16. My story of 缘分 with China(Spainish)
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  18. Do You Believe In Second Chances? By Julian Quander
  19. A pastry chef in China by Pol Anter
  20. What does the other side of the world look like? By Daniel Esteban
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  23. Dating with China. By Viktoria Radnaeva
  24. Living harmoniously with nature in Beijing. By Miranda
  25. Becoming home. By Amy Vernon
  26. Finding my happily ever after in China. By Khola
  27. Boundless life, boundless world. By Dr. Manu
  28. Home is where the heart is. By Meeta Bhagtani
  29. Rumah kedua Ku. By Dhina Ramadiani
  30. A child of the Garden City. By Marc Alexander
  31. Unforgettable Moments in China by Abid Hussain
  32. A Time in Hangzhou. By Abdoulaye M’Begniga
  33. Shenzhen never bores you. By Edcia Alcocer
  34. Nailed it! By Helen Bondarenko
  35. Suburban Adventures. By Felix Kraemer
  36. A Jar of Memories. By Natasa Vujicic
  37. Finding the past and my future in Xiamen. By Adam Loomis
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