Every January a group of teacher education students from Taylor University (Ind.) come to Manila to spend three weeks in Cuatro Christian School’s classrooms. Although the TU team spends months in mental preparation and team bonding for this adventure in teaching, it’s not until they bravely and humbly step onto the street (or classroom) of another culture, that they experience a vital lesson—building relationships is a bridge to overcoming barriers in learning.
Madison Hiatt, a second-year TU student, shared: “It was a shock to come into a community that operates like a huge family and that does not speak my primary language…let alone teach the school’s students. With excitement and open arms, the Cuatro family took in our Taylor family and made us feel like we belonged at Cuatro. We quickly learned the daily and weekly rhythms of life at our new school and started making our special roles in the school day.
“We were placed with a specific teacher and got to bond as we learned from them and were given the opportunity to teach with them. The Cuatro teachers gave us the space to lead their students in lessons and activities, which was critical to our growth as teachers. We shared our joys and our struggles with our Cuatro teachers, and they showed us how important it is to have a supportive staff at our future jobs.”
Madison said she anticipated each day with excitement because of the CCS students: “Their smiles, laughs and memorable classroom interactions made each day an adventure worth the 16-hour flight from America to Asia. I can’t imagine a group of students more welcoming than the students at CCS.”
Every small act of kindness and kind word spoken was appreciated, said Madison, even the students and teachers taking time at the close of their visit to celebrate the TU team—"I was humbled to see how much talent CCS has,” she interjected. “Leaving Cuatro was difficult because of the connections we had made with the students and the teachers, but we will never forget our time with all of you. May God continue to work in and through the CCS community!”
Thank you, Taylor University team, for giving of your time to impact the lives of CCS students.