Alaina Rink, a member of the 2013 cohort at the College of Charleston (CofC), chose to spend her summer teaching English to children in China. Rink learned about the experience from a colleague while participating in a Colonial Charleston Summer Institute. The Chinese program sought native English speakers who were willing to interact with students of all ages. According to Alaina, "Although Chinese students study English from an early age, my students had never had a foreign teacher. As I needed to adapt to the different age groups and types of school, my lesson plans went out the window." She credits the SC teaching Fellows Program for refining her professionalism and cultural sensitivity, both of which were necessary for her success with this endeavor. Ms. Rink will teach English II at Charleston County School of the Arts during the 2019-20 academic year. She admitted that she experienced fewer "first day jitters" this year because of her experience in China. "After successfully teaching a group of students whose language and culture I was trying to learn on the job without a translator, returning to my beloved school was a breeze. This experience reinforced my belief that language is not a barrier but a bond," said Rink.
Luke Harris, a USC Teaching Fellow, was recently named an EdVenture Fellow. EdVenture is a children's museum in Columbia, SC. As an EdVenture Fellow, Luke will have the opportunity to work with children from all backgrounds in a classroom setting multiple days a week. In all, he will log over 780 hours of classroom teaching experience! Luke is looking forward to refining his craft by honing his strengths and identifying his personal areas of challenge. He also will gain experience with project-based learning, educational data/research, curriculum, and lesson planning. Luke explained that the biggest benefit of the Fellowship is the networking aspect. "EdVenture is a leader in education and is often a center point of conferences and meetings between top educational advocacy groups, school districts, legislators, and others interested in the future of education. The connections I have made in the past month alone is incredible."
Edventure Fellows complete an application process, which includes a review of academic factors, and submit two letters of recommendation to the selection committee. Luke noted that Teaching Fellows played a huge role in his identification as an EdVenture Fellow.