Friday, November 30, 2012

Five Things I've Learned from Teaching in China, Part 5

[This post is the last of a five-part series on what I have learned from teaching in China.]

Entrance to the Beijing International MBA program
At the end of each of my three classes at BiMBA, I asked my students to say one thing that they learned in the course. One student, Cara, who delivered a perfect presentation and raised the level of her team's performance, stood in front of the class and said, “What I learned is the value of trusting your teammates. We learned to trust each other by agreeing to meet one night for dinner. We sat in a restaurant, and no one opened a laptop to look at the presentations. We just got to know each other. We ate together, talked about our families, our plans, and our interests. Then when we got together in class the next week to practice as a team, we made great progress."

This lesson was the greatest one that I learned as a teacher in Beijing. I constantly told my students to work as a team but I did not tell them how they might accelerate that process. Cara showed us all how--by becoming like a family.

Being in Beijing for 30 days was a great pleasure for me. Yes, I enjoyed the outstanding Chinese cuisine. Yes, I visited the Summer Palace, the Forbidden City, and the Great Wall, and those are amazing sights. But what I will never forget are these lessons learned from my students.