A village woman shows Chie how to play the Chinese drums during Amity's Winter Conference in Peitian village
Chie Bautista was participant of Amity's Teacher Program. For one year, Chie was a part time teacher and the first teacher in the program who was part of a new south-south approach of this program. Chie was as well the first teacher who taught nursing English. Her kind personality, her passion and her hard work truly made Chie's precense felt. The following interview with Chie was conducted during Amity's Winter Conference in 2018.
How long have you been working for the Amity Foundation and what is your assignment?
For five month and I have two assignments. First, I am teaching at Suzhou university, I am with the school of nursing, I am teaching nursing English to third year nursing students. For the next term I will be with graduating students, for nursing English as well.
Chie is a very good teacher. She is helpful and very friendly. During the first English activity which was organized, she gave English names for each child who participated in the event. She is very conscientious and responsible. Every time she prepared the English courses in detail. She wants the children to understand as much English as possible. Her English activities are vivid and engaging. She does not have a teacher's attitude at all. She is just like a friend, you want to meet again.
-Amity volunteer at the Kunshan NGO Center-
So you are a nurse and a English teacher?
Yeah, you could say that (laughing).
How it has happened that you as a nurse and English teacher finally came to China teaching nursing English?
I studied nursing in college, because that's what I wanted. When I was already working as a nurse, my mum keeps encouraging me to try and study teaching. In the Philippines, at that time, getting a regular job in nursing is challenging. I have a job as a nurse, but it doesn't pay that much. I told her: "But I don't wanna do that, I don't wanna leave the nursing profession". I had to pray about it. I had to pray about it for a long time. Then there was one time, it came to me that God was telling me to do it. He just said: "Just doing it girl!" I thought these stories where people hear God's voice are not true. But at that moment when I experienced it, all i can say was: "Oh my gosh."
So it was like a spiritual voice?
Yes, something like that.
How have you learned about the Amity Foundation?
The Global Ministries has a partnership with Amity. That's how I learned about Amity.
Amity's part time teachers Chie and Isa receive bilingual bibles by General Secretary Mr. Qiu after they accomplished their service with Amity. Besides their regular work, both women volunteered at the Amity NGO Center in Kunshan,
working with local communities
You are originally from the Philippines. How do you think about teaching in China and why China?
First I didn't know that it will be in China. I just trusted that Global Ministries will find a good match for me, whereever that is in the world. When they told me that I had a match with China, I really had to think about it. I didn't say yes right away. I had to talk with Ms. Helen and Ms. Olivia (former staff of Amity's Exchange Department) so I can do it. After talking to both, I still thought I can't do it. They told me I can talk to the supervisor of the university. When I talked to her, she told me what they really need. At the least, they need me because I have a Bachelor degree in nursing, the knowledge part that I can share with the students. They need a teacher who can speak to their students in English and use nursing terminology. So after talking to her I felt a little comfortable. I again prayed about it and trusted if this is going to work out, then it is where God wants me to be.
Since you in China for five month already, how is your experience?
It is great! I didn't know that I could ever teach in college. So this experience is like an eye-opener to me. This opportunity that has been given is really one of a kind. It make me realize that I can do something like teaching nursing English. And I am just really thankful that my supervisor is really helpful. At first I was second guessing on the time if I am doing the right thing. And one of the things that made me really happy towards the end, I think it was one of the last sessions, one of the students talked to me: You know I really like how you teach.
And did she say why?
She says, because my part of the lessons is to give them terms they will learn for the new text of their unit. And what I do is, at first the teacher will give them the word and then tell them the meaning in English. So what I did was to change it a little bit and she gave me the chance to do it. I got pictures on the internet that would match the word. So every time we would have these words we would have pictures that would match this word. So some of the wishful learners would be able to remember it.
|Before Chie gave the children classes, she had to handle learning material that required Chinese translation. The teacher send us the curriculum before to check it out. There are many Chinese Pinyin comments in the learning material. The teacher is particularly worried that because of Chie's lack of Chinese, there won't be any affect on the children's learning progress. (In fact, her progress in speaking Chinese is very large.)
She also earnestly learned about China's folk festivals. Every time Chie experiences Chinese holidays, she will carefully prepare gifts for the children. We and the children both particularly like our teacher Chie, and we are particularly feel sorry when she leaves.
- Amity staff -
Nowadays China is so rich, so do you still see the need of people coming to China teaching English and nursing English?
I think there is the need of someone coming over and teach nursing English. Their nursing English teacher is really really good. But she also has much other responsibilities. So I think it is really helpful.
Besides your work, what is your favorite thing to do in China? What are you doing for fun?
The only thing I do for fun is go to church. (laughing). That's the only thing I do for fun and the only thing I really do for myself outside school, go to Church on Sunday, attend the English bible study in the Chinese church on Saturdays and I teach in a Kunshan community on Saturday mornings and in the afternoon. Amity has projects in Kunshan. So one of the things I do is to go there on Saturdays and do an English corner and English club with second 5th grade students. So that's a lot of fun. It's still part of the job, but I have a lot of fun in there. I love being with this kids. It's a migrant workers community. And Amity says, these kids don't have enough exposure with English , so they wanted to help these community children. That's why they had this project. And I am assigned in there.
Before Chie's last class at the Kunshan community Center, Chie prepared a goodbye card for every single student.
Thank you for becoming a member of the English corner. Always remember to study diligently, be respectful to all people, love life and have fun! I hope and pray that all your dreams will come true! You are Amazing and you are loved! God bless you!
From Chie Bautista (English teacher from the Philippines)