Child-centered teaching skills
To improve teaching quality in rural boarding schools, Save the Children has organized the first “Training for Trainers” workshop for more than 90 teachers from 25 BESTSELLER FOUNDATION project schools in May, 2016. Anne-Sophie Dybdal, Psychologist and Senior Child Protection Advisor at Save the Children explains why the child-centered approach is important: “Child-centered education draws on children’s own experiences and enhances cooperation in the peer group. It also activates different areas of children’s brains and can provide a lasting motivation and confidence to learn new things”, she says.
The training focuses on teaching skills such as active listening, participatory studying, and intensive group work. Yang enthusiastically took part in the workshop. “I think by using various teaching methods, my students can be more engaged in class. They respond pretty well with new teaching methods. And as a result, their academic performance can be improved,” Yang says.
A teacher and a mother
Working hours in China’s boarding schools are unbelievably long and demanding. Teacher Yang works from 6:00 AM to 8:30PM every school day and the teachers take turns in taking care of the children while they sleep and eat.
“My main and most important role in the boarding school is being a mother,” she says.
Students in this rural area can only go home once every week, while, a large number of them are left-behind children, who may only see their parents once or twice a year at most.
“Separation from parents and siblings can, for a child, be compared to grief in an adult. It can lead to loneliness, anxiety and high levels of stress. This is sometimes called being homesick. Being homesick can affect the memory, concentration and also affect the self-esteem and motivation of the growing child,” Anne-Sophie Dybdal explains.