I don’t mean to say I gave up on them, however; I believe that most of them will go on to college and develop new ways of thinking. Critical thinking is a skill you learn, not something you naturally get, and almost every thought that we have is copied or heard from somewhere else that we don’t remember. We can’t blame them for not having enough thoughts if they were simply not exposed to such ways of thinking before. Sure, they will struggle in their colleges, but they will overcome their struggles. So if you are a student reading this, don’t beat yourself up!
Regardless of whether our teaching methods were effective or not, I do believe that both sides got something out of this camp, be it a better understanding of English grammar, a reflective essay, a new circle of friends, or a lesson in life. And yes, I do mean both sides, because I did get a lesson in life. Several lessons, in fact. I learned that North Linping Road is different from Linping Road. I learned that when you are eating Xiaolongbao, you have bite a tiny bit first. I learned to enjoy the wandering around with unexpected joys in the streets of Shanghai. Overall, I have positive experiences from China, with a tinge of pride for my kids who learned a lot… Who knows? I might meet my kids back in my school, at Dartmouth.