Small steps...Taiwan journey

Small steps...Taiwan journey


This is the story of our lives, especially concerning adopting 3 siblings from Taiwan.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Dada School

A little more detail on the Dada school…it seems to be a mix of afterschool care and English classes.  The first and second graders are done with school most days at 12:30 and 3 or so of them come then and work on homework.  Many more students trickle in at 3:30. 

  There is a mix of taking some to the park to play, homework and activities (I’ve done some English songs with motions).  English classes start at 4 and run til dinner at 6, then from 7 til 9 or 9:30 (different classes run different days).  Since we’ve been here, there have also been 2 American volunteers and a Japanese volunteer.  One American, who got here a few days before us, taught English in South Korea for a year before coming here to work on his Chinese and help with teaching. 

  Each day, Ching lets different people know where their help is needed…taking to the park, helping with dinner, presenting part of a class or helping with specific homework.  

  The curriculum is of Ching’s choice and relies heavily on learning to speak and actually interact.  In their regular school, they begin learning English in 4th grade weekly and there is little emphasis on speaking.  It has been interesting to speak with the American re: his observations of their English; he says that the kids at Dada speak English so much better than their counterparts in Korea and their counterparts in Taiwan as well.
I find the atmosphere warm and encouraging.  The kids are being taught and helped, but it is a long day.  There are some who don’t leave til 8:30 or 9, and it makes me so grateful for down time…time my kids have to be alone or relax.  It has also made me ask myself “how much harder can or should we be working?”  These kids work HARD and long.  I’ve always wanted so much for that internal motivation to kick in and push them forward.  How much latitude should I allow to give them the room to find that spark?  It’s that feeling of wondering how long it takes to enjoy learning…I remember being conscious that I enjoyed learning in my master’s program….that is A LOT of years of schooling before enjoying it!


  1. You are doing such a great work!

  2. I loved reading about your experience at DaDa School. I volunteered there last August and loved every moment of it. My experience there is very dear to my heart. Ching and John are great hosts. The food they prepared was delicious.