Teaching is more than “going by the book”—using overheads and textbook demonstrations— and, in this case, more than teaching English. It is sharing hope and imparting skills which open the door of opportunity to many who may not have otherwise entered it. Participants of a unique project teach Chinese students by incorporating innovative learning techniques and valuable life skills into their classes. Their desire to extend quality learning does not stop once the school bell rings. On the contrary, many volunteers go out of their way to “teach” outside of the classroom. Dedicated China Teachers become involved in the welfare of not only their students, but the community as a whole.
A few qualifiers ensure a consistent standard for volunteers in the Kennedy Center’s China Teachers Program. Participants must be active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints under seventy years old, who hold bachelor’ s degrees or higher (in any discipline), and are in stable financial condition. Each year (the program runs from September to July) dozens of qualified, inspiring teachers volunteer. Two such couples from this year’s teaching pool are the Seables and the Banfields.