ISD Teacher Brings a Fun Experience to His Students

Kyle Frederick‘s interactive method of learning, or “Active Education,” creates memorable lessons for students.

Teacher: Kyle Frederick
From: United States
School:  International School of Dongguan(ISD)
Subjects:Athletic Director and After School Activity Coordinator

What inspired you to become a teacher?

I originally taught history before coming to China. I became a teacher because I always wanted to help kids. I was always involved in outreach programs, after school programs, coaching, etc. I have always been able to connect with kids and teaching was a fun and exciting path to do that. I chose history because it was a dull subject when I was in school. Most class periods were full of taking notes and watching historical videos. I wanted to bring a new, fun and interactive way to teaching the subject.

What’s your teaching philosophy?

I have created my own teaching philosophy called “Active Education”. This involves being up and moving as much as possible. This could be through reenacting old battles using paper balls, doing our class in the gym or outside, or having the students up and doing interactive projects. These are the events and topics that students will remember. I want my class to unforgettable, and this also keeps things exciting for me as well.

What is the most special Teachers’ Day gift? Why is it so special?

I am from Indiana, which is a state known for basketball. My most special Teachers Day gift was a signed basketball from all of my students. I will always remember that and cherish that amazing gift.

If you had to describe a teacher’s job as an animal, what animal do you think it would be?

I think teachers are kind of like meerkats. Meerkats are amazing creatures that are patient with their young and teach them slowly. They teach their children how to kill scorpions which are their main source of food. However, they do not just throw them into a dangerous situation. First, they give them dead scorpions, then ones that are injured, then slowly work them into natural hunters. This is what teachers do. We build foundations for learning for our students, and work to create lifelong learners with a passion for exploration.

What kinds of qualities do students look for in teachers?

Students want teachers who bring joy to their subject. Our students are also kids who want to be kids. I believe we owe it to our students to teach them our subjects but do it in a way where students are going to go home with a smile on their face. Students also want teachers who make them feel accepted and safe. I know we all say “remember the good old days” quite often, but being a kid is hard. Teachers need to make sure they are creating accepting environments where students can be themselves and feel like they are part of a community.

How do you approach discipline and what role does it play in learning?

Discipline in education can be a tricky subject. Not everyone can be a teacher and a big part of that comes down to classroom management. I always had the approach that I will never tell a student “because I said so”. If I had problems in the classroom, I would clearly explain to a student the problem and how we can handle it. Of course, sometimes if these problems cannot be handled, then further and more serious discipline needs to take place. Overall, I try to get on a student’s level and talking to them calmly and patiently to defuse a situation.

How do you interact with parents?

Most parent interactions are parents just wanting to be heard. What I try to make sure to remember is that when I have parents that are overbearing, or micromanagers, these are just parents who want the best for their children. Most parents that I have dealt with in my career just want someone to listen to their concerns and take them into consideration. I try to be as patient and understanding as I can.

Is teaching in China different from other countries?

Teaching is going to be a bit different everywhere you go. This is because cultures are different, families are different, and student experiences are different. However, at the end of the day, these are all children and young adults. They want to run and play. They want to hang out with their friends, use their electronics, and be accepted and treated fairly. This also means our role as educators is to find out how our students learn the best, and work to build connections and growth within our classrooms.