Dear parents, The weather is getting colder, the days are getting shorter and while the autumn colors enlighten our campus, we can see the season changing. From every gust of wind another batch of red and yellow leaves blows our way and we secretly wish, it might snow this year.
Christmas, the season of lights and Chinese New Year, the spring festival are fast approaching. Two holidays that in their essence are about family and togetherness during the coldness of winter. Though chilly and cool outside with birds flying off to warmer places, it is also a time where we huddle up, get together, warm ourselves in the comfort of our homes and loved ones and slow down a little bit. It's a perfect time for telling stories, making decorations and looking inwards, reflecting, while showing appreciation. From last school letter, you learned about our 2017/2018 mission statement and from this month, starting December 1st, teachers will begin to do "Thank you Friday's", where children will get accustomed to givicc国际彩球平台ng and receiving compliments and words of appreciation from their classmates and peers. It is an exercise in social skills, empathy and good will, being able to give compliments and acknowledge others is a key part in making good friendships and we expect a campus wide initiative will yield an amazing campus culture, one that I very much hope you will support at home as well.
Though it is a happy season, very much worth celebrating I would be amiss not to acknowledge the realities of working in kindergartens these days. There are doubts and concerns about teachers, caregivers and what happens in the corners where the cameras can't reach. With every big news story, the distrust seems to grow, parents question their children and feelings across the board get hurt. I wish, before accusing teachers and breaking hearts, that parents remember teachers never work alone, they are part of a 3 person team in the class-room. A class-room that is randomly visited by Ms. Tina, Ms. Jessie & I along with food deliveries, campus nurse and parents for drop-off and pick-up. In case of incidents or accidents we further check video from the room to establish cause. The video system, contrary to belief, is not set-up because we doubt our teachers, but as a level of teacher protection and allowing management to check if an accident has occurred in class, such as a child falling off a chair etc. It does not mean that teachers are always right or that all fits perfectly into our expectations. In fact, this semester we have had to let an ayi go who fell asleep during children's nap-time (there was still another class-teacher in the room though) and requested another teacher to undergo training in areas of parent communication and class-room transition management; meaning she had to improve skills in how children learn to help themselves when they transition between activities, e.g. moving from lesson-time to lunch time to outside play time. These are small, but important issues to us that seem miniscule when compared to the rumors that we sometimes find circulating in the groups. Since trust between people, teacher, parents and management is the fundamental part that is in question. I strongly urge parents, grandparents and all teachers to care and find time to join in school activities, such as decorating the class-room last Friday. The upcoming Christmas parties, January Charity drive, Festival of Colors theme weeks and the parent-teacher meetings. Further, for Pre-nursery & Nursery families (also K1 & K2 of course) who are new here and do not know the class-teachers well or those who simply want to help out. I hope you volunteer to come to class on "Thank You Friday's" in the future to do arts/crafts with children. If you have a grandparent visiting from abroad and you wish for them to join a class in the morning or afternoon, please consult your teachers and make arrangements together. Keep in mind though, that we care greatly about campus security and that appointments outside open hours must be arranged 1 day in advance to uphold the guard safety routine. In case you have doubt or concerns, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call # 13771904459.
Moving on to something green and amazing. On November 10th our holiday Christmas trees arrived from Zhejiang province. Every year the campus adopts 25 real pine-trees for the season. This year we ordered early, not just to get the most beautiful trees but also to create a pine-tree garden at our entrance, giving off that unique smell that pine-trees have (especially on rainy days) while hopefully sowing a seed of appreciation for real trees in our children, teachers and parents minds. It is a campus policy to stay real and true to nature. Some people might argue that using plastic trees for Christmas is environmentally friendly, but we respectfully disagree. Using fake trees made from plastic undermines the economic incentive for the forest industry and does not make it attractive for farmers or landowners to invest in tree farming in the long run. Basically, if there is no "Christmas tree business" there will be less people caring about growing trees, in this case Christmas trees. Further, plastic trees as all plastic products are not biodegradable and takes thousands of years to decompose, they do not clean our air and if they give off any scent it is that of plastic. As a place of education we would love for children to admire nature as it is, the colors, the scent and feel. The fact that it is alive and needs sun, water and the right temperature to live. If it does wither, we can use it as compost or re-use its branches in art/recycling lessons, trees are giving! This year, our trees came early so that they could settle in their larger wooden pots, with more soil and more time outside, before they go in the class-rooms we are hopefully that many trees will survive and beautify our campus in the tree garden long after the holiday season passes.
IMPORTANT REMINDERS FOR THE COMING MONTH(S):
- December 1st - 15th: Christmas Parties at campus (please check your class' notice for day / time).
- December 23rd - 30th: International Foreign program will close for the Christmas holiday (no school).
- December 30th - January 1st: The whole school will close for the New Year holiday.
- January 19th: Charity Drive at campus (no regular school service on the day)
At campus we are playing a game of "Secret Santa", where teachers among teachers, classes among classes give small gifts and letters of appreciation to each other without revealing who their particular "good will Santa" is. If parents want to make it harder for teachers/classes to guess, please feel free to place a sock with an orange, a cinnamon stick, a card or something appreciative on your teachers door-handle during the month of December.
Finally and with the deepest sincerety, I wish everyone a wonderful season and a very Merry Christmas month!
Anders S Christensen, principal
and the Hui Xin team!