Finally, the workshops were finished. Although there was a breath of relief that I would not have to deal with my nervousness while I am in front of the class, I also felt a pang of sadness. This would be the last time I would see my students. Even though I encouraged them all to add me on Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook, I knew deep down that the conversations would not be the same. I was always better at communicating with people face to face because it was easier for me to guide the conversation in the right places, however, it was hard reading another person’s feelings through a screen. Even though we only had two sessions together, I felt in some ways connected to them.
This connection was something I did not expect. For Leap, my partner and I had to conduct three sessions that taught students some basic soft skills and encouraged them to learn more about the importance of skill development. The workshops concentrated on Communications, Professional Etiquette, and Innovation. At first, I thought it would be easy. I thought that since I had taught elementary school kids before in China that it would be a piece of cake. Yet, as I learned more about the students and how close (or even older) to my own age they were, I feared that they would not respect me. Besides, how can a 19 year old teach something of importance to another their own age? Not to mention that I was from a completely different culture that had a different humor, way of life and etc…
Yet, the students were nothing but kind and respectful. They called me “Mam” despite the fact that I told them multiple times that the formality was not required. They offered to hang out and sought to have simple conversations with me whenever they saw me. I began to wish that I could be a part of their group. Even though I could see that there was a cultural barrier, I wanted the opportunity to get past that and actually just be their friends. It made me wish that I had more time to spend with them.
However, my time at Leap is short. In the end, I hope that these memories will suffice and that I can keep some semblance of communications with my students. They were a lovely bunch to work with :).