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Christmas Day at School

You here all sorts of stories before you come away to China. The variety of conversations about the weird foods that are available, the culture shock, the pollution, the list goes on for some people, for me however when I accepted my teaching job in China It was the lack of NO CHRISTMAS celebrations this year that topped my list!

Luckily for me however my company gave us a few days of for Christmas, but the real excitement came from teaching at the school. The school was decorated fully, top to bottom with huge beautiful green Christmas trees and an abundance of reds, gold’s and silvers filling up every corner of the building. Part of our job in doing this was to not only give our current students a great understanding of the ‘western’ Christmas but to also entice potential new students to come take a look at what we do and celebrate Christmas with perhaps in my case one of the few foreigners in town.  So what did we teach at Christmas time?decoration

Run Up To The Big Event

Throughout Christmas, the current students were excited. The youngest children would run around excitedly like Christmas was to me as a kid. Normal lessons carried on as normal but we put the odd Christmas vocabulary in to get them ready for the big activity weekend. In my school the activity weekends are usually at the end of every month and we celebrate a holiday if there is one or do a themed weekend. Here we have students invite their friends and the marketing team will invite a new horde of potential keen English learners.  Through the weeks building up to Christmas we would plan and develop new Christmas activities and workshops for the children to attend. My duty was in the kitchen!

Now I knew what I was doing, it was time to plan and prepare a kitchen activity for the students, what better than at Christmas than to make Gingerbread cookies (plus it was an excuse for us foreigners to eat some too). I designed a PPT, sent out my ingredients list to admin and created my flashcards and games I would use to teach the process and highlight the new cookievocabulary.  As well as doing this I was asked to create a Parent/Kids activity for some of the local teachers to teach and provide a fun atmosphere for everyone involved. I decided an assault course would be best. As it was Christmas themed the first stage would be the parent and their child having to quickly dress up as Santa and an elf, they would then have to run round to another room and decorate a small Christmas tree and to top it off they would then have to find three stars hidden in artificial snow and run back round to sore the quickest time. This activity was great to watch and the parents and children were really competitive and got into the Christmas spirit.

Gingerbread Cookies For 40 Kids

Ok time had come for my Chef station cooking activity, it was late on into the evening and I already had some small groups attend but this was the ultimate finale. Almost forty kids and their parents crammed into the kitchen and were about to make Gingerbread cookies with a guy that couldn’t speak hardly any Chinese. The room was hot from the oven and sheer amount of people but everyone was excited. It was like the first time I played a show with my old band. I would have to be a rock star in order to pull this one off. I shouted out the vocabulary and the kids would shout it back like they were singing a huge anthem. Kids poured up to the kitchen counter (in a surprisingly ordered fashion) to roll up one of their cookie balls and shape it on the baking tray. Forty cookies in an oven and it was done! The only thing left was the taste, was it mixed ok, did they learn how to make it well enough… ten minutes later the oven pinged and the warm crisp cookies came out. Forty kids hungry for a western treat devoured them down like it was nothing and surprisingly they all enjoyed them! Success… and a happy Christmas was had by all!

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