Just trying to get through another day. One step forward and two steps back it seems.
Is there ever a time we don’t worry about our children? It seems constant these days. I know she is strong and she will do right but there are days I just want them to be 5 years old again and protect them from the world.
Stay safe everybody. Some sunflowers to make all our days brighter.
Happy Halloween from Canada!
Over the past three years, I have experienced Halloween in different countries. It’s amazing how different it is, yet so many things are similar. In Canada, the children get dressed up, anxiously waiting to see how much chocolate they get (and the moms wait to see how many peanut butter cups they get to take from their kid’s stash! haha – at least that’s what this mom used to do!). Some costumes are elaborate, some are home made, and some are store bought – but no matter what they wear – all kids in costumes are adorable!!!
In Prague, Halloween wasn’t that big of a celebration – perhaps because it is a big tourist city, there are some celebrations for the expats, but I don’t recall seeing the all out celebrations like in North America.
China surprised me, but perhaps it was also because I was teaching in a private school that wanted the international exposure given to the kids, but they had a huge celebration at Halloween, including a Halloween costume parade, the kids getting treats from the other classes, and a truly spectacular Halloween show put on in the auditorium! It was a sight to see. While the kids did not go door to door trick or treating, they did get a lot of candy at school and really enjoyed the party that they had.
Halloween will always be my favourite celebration during the year – I love seeing the little kids all dressed up. Tonight I saw a skeleton, an Ella from Frozen and a ninja (there were more but not as many as there used to be).
I love Halloween!!
There is only one Grade 4 class at the school. They were my first class to teach each week ~ Mondays at 8:55am. The class never started on time, my time was always short with them, and that was disappointing for us. Despite the time constraints, we always managed to have a fun class.
There is so much potential for the brilliant minds that are in this class. I could have actual conversations with some of the kids and they were able to understand me and communicate with me.
They were a class of chatters but I still was able to connect with them. They were a tough class to teach some days. Tough in that they were the most distracted of all the classes. Their classroom was in a corner away from the others due to renovations in the school. Their interaction was mostly with each other so it was understandable that they chatted.
They were engaging when I had an interesting game or activity to do, they liked asking me questions about Canada and they also liked giving me a hard time about my minimal Chinese. I did manage to surprise them on occasion with some new Chinese words though! They were very intent on teaching me Chinese!
Some of my favourite lessons with them were Scattegories, Scrambled Sentences, and Charades. The charades was a very rambunctious game that came at a price of a broken ruler (not on one of them ~ on a desk~ oops!!)
I enjoyed the time with them and I can sense that there are going to be a lot of very successful students in that class.
As with all the students I have met and taught at Livon, I will miss these kids very much!! It has been such an amazing experience teaching all these kids.
If someone asked me what my favourite grade was to teach in China, this was it. Grade 3 without a doubt. These kids were awesome.
They were fun to teach, they were funny, they understood a lot, I could be silly with them but they also knew when they had to listen. One loud bang of the giant yellow ruler and they knew it was time to stop and listen.
Playing with them at lunch time (what time is it Mr. Wolf!), eating lunch with them every day, bonding with them outside of school at the playground ~ these are the kids that I will miss the most.
There are only two Grade 3 classes, each with 36 students, so it was much easier to get closer to them. These kids ~ oh these kids ~ I will miss their laughter, their questions, their smiles, and their generous nature. The snacks they would feed me, the high fives in the hallway, and lots of hugs.
Albert, Frog, Yoyo, Sun, Sam, Terry, Derek, Nick, Coco, Cici, Angel ~ these are the names that immediately come to my mind but I will remember every single one of them. (I wish I was just making those names up….but I’m not. Those are their English names!)
The Grade 2 students may have made me a better teacher, but the Grade 3 students showed me how much I truly love this career I have.
Shine on kids, be the stars you are all destined for and know that I am going to miss you all so much!!
My time here is quickly coming to an end, and as excited as I am to be heading to a new country and new adventures in a couple of months, I can’t begin to explain how much I will miss these kids.
The sound of a laughing child always makes me smile. Whether it’s a baby’s first giggle, a toddler’s belly laugh, or kids playing in a park, laughing at the sheer joy of being at play.
My day is so much brighter when I hear the laughing of kids. No matter what I am doing or trying to finish, the sound of laughing makes me feel better and ready to finish my job.
As adults, we tend to take things so seriously, we forget what it’s like to have a good long laugh. One that brings tears to your eyes and a sore stomach.
So the next time you feel stressed, listen to some kids playing and laughing. Sometimes its all the therapy you need!!
There is a reason why the Chinese are so advanced in education. The children are always in school it seems. Even on days that are holidays, some kids are at special schools for the entire day. And this isn’t just the older kids. These are 8 year olds and up going to school from 7am until sometimes 7pm. And older kids are having to do homework until 11 at night. And by older I mean middle school kids ~ 11 year olds. So is it too much? Is there too much pressure being put on these kids?
Some people ~ especially the parents ~ say no. They want their kids to have as much education as possible so that they can be successful later in life. And I do understand that.
But does more education mean more success? In my opinion, no it doesn’t. I consider myself a very successful woman and have an amazing career that I love, but I am not as educated as others my age are. Does that make me less successful? No. Hard work makes someone successful. Perseverance and overcoming obstacles makes someone successful. Education can play a part but not the only part.
I wish I could talk to the parents here and explain to them that it’s okay for their children to have some downtime and to just be kids! I would hate to see these wonderful little minds become resentful because of the pressure put on them.
So I say ~ let them be kids. They are young for such a short time and then adult life happens. And that is meant for kids all over the world ~ not just in China!! Let kids be kids ~ real life will happen for them soon enough!!
This week has been an eye opening week for me. And one of enlightenment in the face of death.
Earlier this week, I found out that my ex father in law passed away. I was sad to hear this as he was a good man to me and to my two children. He loved my kids very much. But in the days that passed, some very distressing things were brought to light. I was disheartened, angry, disappointed and stressed about what became known to me.
In my Aries way, I was ready to lash out to protect my child. However, after much thinking and debating with myself, I made the decision not to.
I came to this Temple today to find peace and tranquility and to say a prayer for my father in law.
I have grown so much in the past couple of years. It is no use to be angry at people who cannot see that they are only hurting themselves with their hate and anger. I may not agree with how they have acted, but it is not a reflection of me nor is it a reflection of my children.
I love my children and I want them to have a life of peace and love, which they both deserve. None of us are perfect. We learn from our mistakes and become grateful for what and who we have in our lives, and we move forward.
Bill Sr., I hope you know just how much you were loved by me and by both of your grandchildren. You will be missed.
To my children, don’t ever forget how much I love you. Go forward in your life with love in your heart and peace in your mind.