Today marks exactly a month until I'm done teaching, and done with my two year commitment to TFC. It's weird; it feels like I haven't been doing this for very long, and yet I'll soon be moving on to the next thing. I've definitely changed a lot over these past two years, and while I'm a much better teacher than when I began, I'm still a beginner, and if I were to continue teaching, I don't think I'd really be a good teacher for another couple of years. That's really the problem with TFC's model--no foreign fellow ever keeps teaching in rural China for a third year, and only a handful of Chinese fellows have stayed, so our students never get a TFC trained fellow with the sort of experience that you need to be a truly powerful teacher. Some very few teachers might be great during their first and second year, but it's rare.
All of this is not to say that TFC fellows haven't done awesome things and been successful in the classroom. Fellows, especially Chinese fellows, have done a lot of really cool thing, both in and out of class, but I'd love to see what some of the great people that have chosen to dedicate two years to teaching rural Chinese kids could do with five or ten years of experience.
I think I've been a good teacher, especially in this second year, but I often feel like I've gotten more out of this experience than my students have.
And here's an Onion article that's too true to be funny