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.
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