Adjusting to a new work environment can bea challenge. Between encountering a new workspace culture, a different set oftasks, and a fresh set of students, acclimatizing is very often a long andstressful process for teachers changing schools. Doing all of this in a foreigncountry where you know nobody and don’t speak the language is especiallyintimidating. Needless to say, I was a bit apprehensive when I walked into myfirst day of GIA training at Huamei International School. Fortunately, itwouldn’t take long for me to feel right at home.
In the GIA training, we learned loads ofvaluable skills to apply in and outside of the classroom. It became clear to mevery quickly that GIA places a high emphasis on our students developingpositive moral values. From day one, we were immersed in brainstormingactivities involving the meanings of Dignity, Honor, Respect, and Integrity andhow we can create fun activities to instill these values within our students.My middle school team is already excited about the presentations and serviceactivities our respective houses will be involved in, and we haven’t even had ourfirst official meetings yet! Additionally, I was happy to learn that GIA alreadyhas a fun, game-based infrastructure in place for teaching DHRI values, withwhich I am eager to become involved. Sensing that GIA has a fun, friendly, andvirtuous culture helped me feel welcome straight away.
GIA training was also incredibly useful ingiving me fun and fresh ideas to use in the classroom. As a relatively newteacher, I recognize that I still have much to learn, particularly when itcomes to classroom management and keeping students engaged. Tania put on abrilliant presentation that demonstrated dozens of useful classroom managementstrategies and techniques, many of which I had never heard of and intend to usein the classroom. Candace also put together an immersive lesson to help ourteam train for interdisciplinary teaching practices. The lessons of my peers duringGIA training were not only helpful in teaching me new strategies to utilize inthe classroom, but they showcased the skill and wisdom of those around me. I amthrilled to be working around people who will continue to help me learn anddevelop as a teacher.
Getting to know those wonderful people whowould be guiding, assisting, and inspiring me throughout the year was myfavorite part of the GIA training. It is vital to be surrounded by people youknow and trust, especially in a place so far from home. Through the countlessteam-building exercises in which we participated, taking lessons from my peers,and even going to lunch with the group every day, I know that I have a greatsupport system in place here. I walked into day one at GIA feeling a bitnervous; I walked out feeling happy, confident, and excited for the new schoolyear.