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If you happened to walk through Mantor hall in the past few weeks, you may have noticed something unusual... read more

Vieth: Taking a chance with the opportunity of a lifetime
John Vieth
Courtesy Photo
John Vieth, a UNK student studying abroad in China, had the opportunity to give an English presentation to Chinese students. Little did he know he would be teaching a 40-minute class. What I thought was going to be the worst two days a week of my life turned out to be one of the most exciting things I have ever done, Vieth said.

One of the opportunities we had when we signed up to come study abroad in China was to help with English Conversation Tables. With us being native English speakers, it would be a great opportunity for the kids to have us in their classes to help them become more fluent in English.

We had a date set up to go to the middle school to meet our teachers and get a tour around the school. When we got to the meeting, we could tell there had been some sort of miscommunication.

We had all figured that we were just going to be in the classroom helping them with their English classes, but the teachers thought differently.

They told us that we were going to be split up into different classes and that we would not be helping the students, but we would be teaching a 40-minute class, four times a week.

This immediately got me shaking in my shoes. My worst fear in life probably has to be standing up in front of a group of people to give a speech or present some sort of material. I immediately wondered what the heck I got myself into.

We proceeded through our meeting working out little bits and pieces of information and figuring out what time we had to be at the school.

We were then handed our first topic that we would be teaching our first classes; it was the top tourist destinations in America.

I was relieved to hear that it was about tourist destinations since I can relate it to my major. When it all came down to making the PowerPoint and what we were actually going to teach the kids, it really hit me that we were actually going to be somewhat close to teachers.

At that moment, I became really nervous and freaked out, but I had no other choice and there was no way of backing out of it, so I just had to suck it up and make do with what I could.  

When the first day of our classes at the middle school rolled around, I was dreading the fact of having to get up in front of a class and teach for 40 minutes, but once again I just had to suck it up.

When we got to the school and met up with our teachers, I asked her about how many kids were going to be in each class. She gave me a blank stare while she processed the question in her head and gave me the answer “40.”

Let’s just say finding that out didn’t make me feel any better. We finally reached my first class, and I took a deep breath and walked in.

Immediately all of the kids stopped what they were doing and stared directly at me and started applauding.

They were so happy that there was an American in the room with them that they couldn’t contain themselves. I proceeded to start my PowerPoint and lesson about the top tourist attractions in America, and the next thing I knew my first class was already over. I was really surprised at how fast the time flew by...

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