Teacher Candidates in China
Western’s Faculty of Education offers Alternative Field Experiences to Teacher Candidates as part of the final year of their program. These Field Experiences are designed to offer an opportunity for Candidates to undertake field placements above and beyond their required teaching practica. We encourage Teacher Candidates to try something different—to work in a school with programs or activities related to their specialty area, or with grades, subject areas, or age groups with which they have not worked before; or with school resource personnel, librarians, specialist teachers, and so on. The AFE is intended to add value to their program—widening their experience, expanding their knowledge, and enhancing what they have to offer as a new teacher.
In July and August, 6 teacher candidates are completing an international field experience in China that will provide them with a global perspective on teaching and learning. This year, the IFEs are taking place in Beijing and in Guangzhou. This IFEs are offered in partnership with EIC China, an international education service provider. The IFE is a teaching placement in a summer English “camp” for Chinese students. The goal of the program—part of the Canada High School Experience Program—is to give Chinese students a full educational experience that will help them prepare for academic studies overseas or in China. The 4-week program is designed by the teacher candidates to help the Chinese students gain a greater insight into Western cultural environments, and develop confidence in their use of English. Teacher candidates gain experience in working with non-English speaking students, develop their own cultural sensitivity, and plan lessons and activities to meet the needs of the students.
The student involved are: Nancy Singhla, Eduardo Martinez, Jennifer Davies, Natasha Rae, Jonathan McKinnon, Tyechia Rhea.
Here are comments from some of the teachers candidates, in their own words:
“Others should consider experiences like this simply due to the fact that the world is not black and white. As educators, we need to know how to successfully teach each and every individual, especially if we work in a setting with a diverse population. I value every opportunity I have to learn and gain more knowledge about people and places, especially when it comes to teaching and my career. This opportunity will no doubt make me a stronger teacher and help me further my education in the process.” ~ Jennifer Davies
“As an Indigenous student, it is an exciting opportunity to introduce foreign and future Western students to Canadian Indigenous cultures.” ~ Tyechia Rhea
“Although we are just about to embark in our teachings, I know this AFE experience will never be forgotten. As an International Education teacher, I find it fascinating to be able to travel the world and learn from and educate others.” ~ Eduardo Martinez
“This experience really is a once in a lifetime opportunity to teach and experience another culture. You get a truly authentic learning experience being immersed in Chinese culture and the everyday lives of the Chinese students.” ~ Jonathan McKinnon