Affected by the epidemic of COVID-19, the universities were not allowed to start the spring school as planned. Students did not enter the classrooms to study as usual, but this did not affect the desire and pursuit of knowledge of all teachers and students in our school. Although the opening date is not determined, in order to ensure that the lessons will not be held up, our school has opened a new teaching mode through Superstar, MOOC, and Dingding since February 17,2020.
This new teaching mode has brought challenges to many teachers, especially to those foreign teachers from nine countries. They also encountered problems such as time zones and platform operation in Chinese. For those who are not so proficient in Chinese, not only must they prepare lessons in advance, but also carefully figure out what kind of software to use and how to use the software to make the online teaching the best results. It is gratifying that despite the difficulties, foreign teachers fully cooperate with the school. No matter where and when they are in the world, they have started their online teaching across the oceans and time zones.
Samantha from Jamaica, Christine from Canada, Suzuki from Japan, Carl from the United Kingdom, and Joseph from the United States were already in school at the beginning of online teaching, so they were relatively easy to start teaching.
“In the current special case, I can more easily utilize the various teaching resources available through online teaching. Not only can you exchange information, but you can also ensure that students are fully focused during the class, so that the entire course is student-centered,” said Samantha. In the first few days she received the task, distressful could easily be her initial sentiment, and she spent a considerable amount of time studying and researching various soft wares. Now she is accustomed to the convenience and flexibility of online teaching, and is very well adapted to this process.
Christine said that online teaching has given her more learning opportunities, but there were certain challenges in using these online teaching platforms with almost only Chinese versions, such as Superstar and Tencent Meeting. However, on the bright side, she has strengthened the interaction with the students and learned a lot of new Chinese characters through the patient help of the students. Of course, another great benefit of teaching online for her is that she can always have a pot of fresh coffee beside her.
For Carl, compared to the optimism and calmness of other foreign teachers, teaching online has made him distressful at first. “It takes longer time to prepare for the course, and it is also a big challenge to figure out how to make the online class fun. I miss the vitality of the classroom and the friendship with the students. It’s them that I feel most for. So far, they have been great. Their patience and understanding are particularly impressive. I hope I can get back to the classroom as soon as possible to see these lovely students!” He said.
“Although I am a newly recruited foreign teacher this semester and I have only been here for one month, but with the care and enthusiastic help of the International Office, teachers and students, I have adapted to the life here verywell,”saidJoseph. “In the process of online teaching, I can timely know the attendance rate of classmates, pay attention to interaction, and facilitate students to actively participate in the discussion of problems, making the classroom atmosphere active and relaxed, and achieving good learning results.” Compared with his previous teaching experience, he found that online teaching is very suitable for students who are shy in daily classes. “Because they can confidently comment, ask questions, and even give a lot of constructive opinions!” said Joseph. In his view, online teaching allows teachers to seek more lively teaching methods, which is also a very good way for teachers to improve their teaching skills.
Mr. Suzuki, who is good at Chinese, has not encountered many problems in the language, but encountered many difficulties at the beginning of the class, such asthe system crash because of too many users, and the incompatibility of functional sections of the mobile phone and the computer. Fortunately these kind of problems have been basically solved, and he was proud that he could participate in the fight against the epidemic with Chinese teachers and students.
In addition to the above-mentioned foreign teachers who stayed on campus, we also had several foreign teachers who were unable to return to school due to the impact of the epidemic, such as Chiara in Italy, Diana in Ukraine, Gregory in the United States, Badar in Pakistan, and Richard in Ghana. They not only had to overcome the problem of using the platform, but also needed to teach online in the evening or even at night at local time due to time zones. In order to achieve the best teaching results, they explored different platforms for teaching tracking and reflection. In the case where students were unwilling to open the video and teachers could not confirm the learning status face-to-face, they adopted the method of recording teaching videos and audios in advance so that students could preview before class and teachers could arrange homework to check the learning outcomes to ensure the smooth development of teaching activities.
Although teachers could not teach classes face to face, the webcast classes of our foreign teachers will continue to be improved. Thanks for their dedication and careful teaching to ensure that students do not delay any of the courses at home.