Yesterday was our school’s Color Day, and let me just be frank. I really really enjoy spending this kind of time with the students. The interactions they have with each other and the staff are priceless because they are quite different from the daily norm and grind of the semester.
I had two classes in the morning that went well, and I saw several students who really put effort into their color costume, face paint or whatever it would take to show the pride they have in their color. As I mentioned briefly on Instagram before, our school has this day where five colors represent certain values that we hold dear as a body. The colors are as follows:
Red: 精 (Excellence)
Blue: 德 (Virtuous) – I just realized I have no Blue pics. Yikes…
Orange: 智 (Wisdom)
Yellow: 爱 (Love)
Green: 新 (Modern)
Classes were normal in the morning, but after lunch the activities set in. From 1:30 – 2:15pm, the groups split into their colors and did team-building games at various locations on the campus. I took this time to just walk around, admire and take in the connections and memories being made among the collection of grades 1-12. The high school students came up the ideas for the activities and had to lead each group. The younger ones followed through and did their best to reach the goals.
I saw leadership, teamwork, laughs, focus, intensity, teachers, students, staff and excitement build as the time flew by. That’s what happens when you have fun, right?
And when 2:30pm rolled around, it came time for the first round of “Best Dressed” of every color to walk across the stage (see above). As the staff and students walked by in their own individual fashions, much smaller groups from every color were chosen based on their costumes. It was such a good forty-five minutes to an hour of just natural bonding time with students that I know as well as others that I just met. But it didn’t stop there. The next ten minutes or so were when the colors took group pictures followed by a school-wide one. It may or may not have been a little toasty when so many gathered in one spot. As they say, 人山人海. 😉
While we walked away from all of the festivities, I reflected with the other elementary foreign teachers about the afternoon. One could immediately and totally learn so much more about students days like this. A prime example would be one of my 2nd graders. A boy, *Jason, at the outset of our time outside for stage-walking he clung to my arm and gave me several hugs throughout. Instantly I learned that this child needs physical affection. (Gary Chapman always comes back to me in moments like these.) Obviously I cannot fill the void that his parents should give, but I can be a source that he can daily reciprocate with in appropriate ways.
Students like Jason emphasize the reason why I am a teacher. We can guide students in their intellect all we want, but their hearts are what truly matter.