This is the first post in Photo Series 1: Stories From China, as explained in my hook post.
It’s the week of Halloween. I need to teach fourteen 60-student classes (14*60 = 840!) about the holiday. Time to get dressed up. Scour my room for random items and create characters from their amalgamations. Construct a “tourist” costume and give them my camera to take the pictures you’ll see below (brilliant Rhys, just brilliant). Bring it all to class and…GO! Here are the costumes:
After giving out all the items, I’d bring a table of students outside. We’d go through the pile of costume accessories and create characters for each person. Then, Jay Chou and Fan Bing Bing would go inside and greet the series of strange characters that came into the room. It looked like this (note all the laughter):
When my kids started to feel that freedom and craziness of the day, they just got goofy:
Finally, a group of pictures that just make me smile.
Until Next Time
There were two main things that made this week awesome (for me and my students). First, anticipation. Starting Monday at 8:00am, I was lurching around the schoolyard with a hammer, a witch’s hat, a guitar, a pile of food and a tower of clothes (among other things). When kids see me on Monday and then hear rumors about the crazy class on Tuesday, they can’t help but feel that hype for our Wednesday class. Second, comfort. I tried to create a safe space in which my students felt little hesitation just letting go. I made it clear from the start that this is Halloween goddamnit and ain’t no one gonna be judgmental.
Constructing this post has definitely made me nostalgic. I miss my students. How could I not miss these awesome memories we created together?
Hope this article gave you a fun first glimpse into my teaching life in China. Sound off in the comments or on social media with questions or your own Halloween-in-a-strange-place experience.