Yesterday a homeschooled 15-year-old female was caught participating in team building exercises at Nanjing University. The exercises were part of a class called “Volunteerism and Service” that is being taught on the Xianlin campus. She was there on invitation from the teacher, a 50 year veteran of the school system in the United States. “I wanted her in the class because of her maturity and her desire to serve others,” said the teacher. “I liked that she already has a plan for her life and felt that she had something to contribute.”
The 15-year-old introduced herself in Chinese and based on the shouts and applause from the students she was very well received! The 15-year-old then proceeded to help the teacher’s assistant to pass out papers and move desks into groups of 8. After the class was organized, students were matched with a partner that they did not know and placed into groups. The 15-year-old was observed chatting easily with her partner, a college sophomore named Mike.
Several team building games were played throughout the 2 hour class period and the 15-year-old moved easily among the other students. She participated in and contributed to conversations about working together. At several points, she was seen joking and laughing with the students.
At the end of class the 15 year-old had a list of email addresses and phone numbers (and several hugs) from her new 18-22 year old class mates. “I think I’ll really enjoy this class,” she said. “I feel like the students and I have so much to share with each other!”