A Day in The Life

I always enjoy reading other people’s posts going through what their day looks like so I thought I would do my own! The summer schedule won’t be too different from the fall, but there are changes in the logistical parts of the school day and curriculum. Summer is much more laid back and less focused on specific primary preparation curriculums. For summer camp we also welcome kids from other schools around Shanghai.

I take the metro to work with my trusted Starbucks latte to go from Family Mart. I’m super lucky because my apartment is on the same street as a metro station which is key! Since the school is not within walking distance from a metro, we have a driver who meets us at a point and takes us to school. If I want to arrive earlier, I just take a taxi which is very cheap, maybe $2USD.

After arriving at the school, I check into the office and make any last minute copies of material. This is Mimi the office cat.

The kids arrived between 8:30-9 and start their morning work. We work on literacy and math. This week they wrote stories about a cafe and did some menu math calculating how much different orders cost. In this picture they are doing a still life drawing of fruit and writing about it.

After our snack, we have circle time for 45 minutes. We go over the days of the week, months of the year, the weather and sing a song. Then we have a lesson. It’s Montessori style and very hands on with kids coming up to lead the class and volunteer to solve a problem.

These two weeks the theme has been cafe. On this particular day we were learning about paying money and giving the correct change back. I love how everyone always raises their hands to volunteer and participates.

We have 45 minutes of activity time which for these two weeks have been making a food, designing a menu or going on a little field trip to the coffee shop next door to see a cafe in action! The activity goes with the theme of the week.

After our morning activity we have playtime which is either at the inside or outside playground.

We have lunch together in the classroom. The food is delicious and there’s a great variety day-to-day. They also make additional food for the teachers we can add on such as an extra veggie or meat dish. The biggest part of lunch time is working on manners. So no elbows on the table, eating with a fork and spoon, chewing with mouth closed and cleaning up after yourself.

During the summer we have some kids still taking a nap. Starting in the fall since they are the older kids, they will no longer take a nap. Last week, for the kids who didn’t take a nap, they took a primary preparation class with me. We work on vocabulary, sentence writing and phonics sounds. Getting into primary school in shanghai is serious business!

After the other kids wake up they join the rest of the class for Chinese story time. In the morning it is only English, but in the afternoon they can speak Chinese.

We have an afternoon snack which is almost always fruit. On this particular day the kids were enjoying their brownies they made in the morning.

The last part of the day we have an activities such as dance, magic tricks, lego class or golf.

The day is over at 3:30 and the kids go home! Some kids stay for another 40 minutes for an after school class with the Chinese teachers such as math or pinyin.

At 4:30 I head home. Sometimes I go straight to yoga, run errands or go straight home and make food with my roommate/have it delivered. Because I’m an old lady at heart, I like to be in bed between 9:30-10 reading or just relaxing.

That’s an average weekday for me! The weekends are a whole new story.

-Kaila

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