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York English - Fuzhou

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Halloween at York School

Aside from providing private classes for up to sixteen students at a time, York School of Foreign Languages also puts on extra curricular activities for all of the major holidays. Although heavily Americanised – you won’t see a celebration of Guy Fawkes night here; although they seem to have fireworks displays taken care of – it can be a jolly good laugh for both the students and the teachers to take part likewise. The downside is it takes place on a Sunday, when we start work at 8.30am, making the day a twelve hour haul, but none the less it is a good showing for potential new students to take an interest.

This year several of the teachers decided to join in and between us there was a good mixture of characters included. From Minnie Mouse, a Chinese monk, a man in drag and superman, there were also the more conventional zombies, scary clowns and cat-women. So much so that one of the teachers nigh on stopped traffic going outside…

Halloween, like other Western holidays, is not really supported or adhered to like it is in the UK and despite a lot of the students I spoke to during my regular classes dismissing time for it, there was a really good turn out come the night, with most of the students dressing up for the part of it as well. Come the evening I was teaching a one-off kindergarten class. All the children had come as different characters and I had the pleasure of yelling at Batman, Ironman, a pirate, a Beijing opera performer and a Disney Princess. I take great pride in my teaching and the opportunity to yell at some of these big screen counterparts was fantastic.

The teaching part of the night was more casual than normal and the whole lesson plan was already thought out for us by the academic co-ordinators. All we had to do was turn up, eat our free subway dinner and carry it out.

As I work at the largest school as well we didn’t have enough classrooms for all of the teachers to squeeze in, so between the sixteen of us a few had to travel to the smaller branches to spread out the numbers. Myself and a couple of others made the trip to the Rong Qiao branch and set up out classrooms. The activities we had planned for us for kindergarten students consisted of playing trick or treat with some flashcards, having a roaring competition, playing musical statues and making a pumpkin collage.

As you can see from the pictures I went as the Saw doll from the film of the same name and although the little tykes weren’t scared to my liking, they did really enjoy the fact I was dressed the part as much as they were. The activities were a little hit and miss. They didn’t really understand how to dance for musical statues and the memory game turned in to them turning every card over until they found the sweets but it was all very funny. It was also done to the theme tune from Ghostbusters and this all made it a little more fun than the average kindergarten lesson.

The pumpkin collage went down a treat – get it? – with all the children remaining quiet for a good twenty minutes meticulously sticking their little orange pieces of card down so they could take away a memento from the evening. Thankfully I could leave thirty minutes before everyone else as kinder classes are only one hour compared to an hour and a half for the others and we could start the real importance of the night early – the staff Halloween night out.

All in all it was a good night of dressing up, having fun and eating sweets.

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York English - Fuzhou

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About the Author:

Greg Clark
Greg Clark is an ESL Teacher at York English, Fuzhou.
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