English teachers from Amity Foundation have completed the Summer Training Program, getting ready to receive the new challenge in the new academic year.
STP 2006 was held in Huzhou this year. This program is especially designed for new candidates of the Amity Foundation’s Teachers Program, It provides introductions to language teaching in China, Chinese culture, and the church in China. It also offers training in adapting to life in China and negotiating problem situations. Additionally, there is individualized instruction in Chinese language during which participants gain experience in conducting their own Chinese study programs, working with tutors.
New foreign teachers have gathered and warmly received by a group of Chinese tutors. STP allows foreign teachers and Chinese teachers to celebrate the diversity of their cultures and to build up a mutual understanding so that they may cooperate well in teaching.
During the STP 2006, foreign teachers were guided by Chinese tutors to experience various aspects of Chinese cultures, such as drawing and calligraphy; music and playing instruments; Tai Chi; cooking and so on. On the other hand, foreign teachers are invited to give simple oral English classes to Chinese tutors. Chinese tutors and their counterparts have effectively enriched their cultural experiences
A series of panel sessions addressing the challenges that may be faced by foreign teachers in China was conducted. One of the themes is "Building Good Relations with Chinese Colleagues". A panel of Amity staff and experienced teachers were also presented at the STP to answer new teachers' questions.
On top of the training, foreign teachers and Chinese tutors have enjoyed some time of fellowship together. Not only they have toured around the beautiful city, but they also worshipped in a local church. All of them are united in Christ as one body regardless of language, nationality and culture.
Through the experience of summer training, Amity teachers get to know each other and become a community for professional and personal support.
Amity Teachers Program exists to ensure equal educational opportunity in poorer areas of China. In China, command of English is an important prerequisite for education beyond junior middle school, and lack of qualified English teachers is one important reason why it is difficult for students in poor or rural areas to compete in examinations for limited places at senior middle schools and university. Therefore, Amity Teachers Program sends English teachers to the needed areas.
As an independent Chinese development organization established on the initiative of Chinese Christians, Amity Foundation allows foreigners to work in cooperation with the Chinese church. Amity sees teachers' service as a part of the witness of the Chinese church and the church universal. Although the teachers are not encouraged to consider themselves evangelists, and they are required to respect the three-self principles (self-government, self-support, and self-propagation) of the Chinese church, they may participate actively in local church services.