A Developing Understanding of Education in America

This blog is a reflection from our Dance Daze® in Schools Chan Fellow, Aiyu Li. She is an exchange student from China, and is spending this semester studying abroad in the United States, taking classes at UC Berkeley, and is a development and teaching intern for Dance Daze® in Schools. You may learn more about Aiyu Li and her fellowship program here: https://dancedazeinterns.wordpress.com/2012/10/06/chan-fellows-at-dance-daze/

I have already been working at the charter school for nearly two months. Thanks to being really involved in their daily work and having the chance to interview nonprofit professionals or visit other education organizations, I am able to taste a small piece of youth education in America.

Charter schools are an interesting phenomenon in America. They are kind of like a combination of private schools and public schools. Based on my experiences with charter schools thus far, it seems that parents take the initiative to build up the school for their children and the community. Parents also have to decide the teaching style and the teaching goals for the children at charter schools. Teachers follow the goals and directions. From what I can see, different schools have different values to deliver to the children.

Last week, one of my colleagues at school told me that she felt stressed and overwhelmed. I asked her the reason, even though I already had an idea of what she would say. “Too much responsibility,” she told me, as I expected. It’s never easy for immigrant teachers to teach native children. Any of the teachers, who are really taking the responsibility and truly loving the children, can tell the difficulties. I wonder how difficult it will be for me to complete my internship with Dance Daze®, even while facing cultural barriers. We will see.

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