Walking in on the first day of class, my students looked at my like I was absolutely insane standing at the front of the room with a giant beach ball. Then, when we started playing the introduction game, everyone was so scared to go in the middle to say their name. By the end of the camp, my boys were fighting over who would get to speak first and toss the beach ball around. I know there are some lessons that I taught that my students may not have fully understood but being able to bring my students out of their shells really made my time at Tsinghua worthwhile.
I will never forget one of my students coming up to me on the last day to thank me for making the camp fun for him. He was one of the boys on the first day that was so reluctant to speak and was practically hiding in the corner. By the end of the camp, he was constantly raising his hand and answering questions. He was also one of the most enthusiastic about participating in competitions, dancing, and games. It was the success stories like this one that truly made me feel accomplished as a teacher in China.