From May 29-June 3, Stepping Stones took a group of nine PricewaterhouseCoopers employees and two individual volunteers on a rural volunteering tour to Zhengzhou and Dengfeng! During this week tour the volunteers spent four full-days teaching and interacting with primary school students at three different schools. Each school was slightly different and it was our first time bringing volunteers to teach English at these schools. The first school visited was a migrant school in a village area of Zhengzhou city, where many of the students are migrant children or “left-behind” children. We also taught at a Martial Arts focused school for orphaned children in Dengfeng. Our last lessons were with “left-behind” and rural children from a rural village school just outside of Dengfeng city. The volunteers were moved by the student’s eagerness to communicate in English and learn more.
All volunteers were enthusiastic about the teaching and got stuck in. After only a couple lessons, many of them realized the difficulty of being a teacher and gained a newfound admiration for the profession.
The experience of this trip could not be communicated better than by one of the volunteers who joined the tour, Pauline Lee. "I came with the intention to give a week of my time to teach English but came back filled with smiles, friendships and pure respect for the teachers, principals, students and Stepping Stones.
The enthusiasm and energy of the children was infectious, and pushed us to be better teachers for them. Each class was so different from the last (size, level, ability, conditions) and you found yourself throughout discussing, improving and fine-tuning for the next class. I left humbled by the work of the teachers, knowing what they do and achieve with so many students and under such conditions. You learn to keep the teaching simple, and have an open heart and mind. It’s an enriching and an emotional experience, that leaves us all touched."
If you are interested in joining a rural tour with Stepping Stones, or in learning more about our rural volunteering programs, click here or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope you will join a rural tour with Stepping Stones soon!