The End of Summer Camp!

Summer camp has officially ended and I am thrilled! It was a long push with no break between the end of last school year and summer camp. My school every summer does a summer camp for six weeks. This summer it was a little more complex as we extended the school year by two weeks. For the most part it just extended into the summer except for the students who have graduated. My school has students from age 2-6 and I teach the oldest class that is preparing for primary school. I thought I would share some of the themes and projects we did the summer for fellow teachers and just everyone else who wants to see all the fun we had!

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Graduation: The Class of 2020

And just like that the school year finished! It doesn’t feel like it in many ways with the changes because of the virus, but it’s over and my little zebras are off to primary school! We have started summer camp right away with a mix of my students and another class and and have finished a week about Albert Einstein and Tu You You. I was so happy when kindergartens in Shanghai were given the clear to open at the start of June. I really had missed my students, a sense of routine, and being in the classroom. We did online classes for two months and I was ready to be done with that! Online teaching is a lot of work also and required a different type of energy and innovation compared to the classroom. I learned a lot from it but was super glad we didn’t have to continue it any longer. I thought I would share memories from graduation night as it was spectacular and what we had practiced for 5 weeks. Nobody does a kindergarten graduation like China!

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Shanghai, Covid-19 and Returning to “Normal.”

Checking into my quarantine hotel.

After returning to Shanghai at the end of March (a week before the borders closed to foreigners), I spent two weeks in a hotel being quarantined. Truth be told it wasn’t that bad and I felt lucky to have had the privilege of mandatory quarantine given the state of the world right now. Life has slowly transitioned back to a new “normal” in Shanghai with the opening of Kindergartens at the beginning of June. Other grades had resumed prior and they slowly phased in lower grades. So what does life in Shanghai look like now? When I look at the rest of the world, I know I’m one of the lucky ones who has returned to work and able to go out and about.

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New Zealand Part One and the Virus

It’s been almost three weeks now that I have been back from New Zealand and unexpectedly in the States due to the Covid-19 virus that originated in China and threw my life a little upside down. Truth be told it’s been a roller coaster of emotions since returning, with a tragic loss of a family friend while managing the unknown of when I’ll return to China. I’m sad about the virus and burned out from explaining to people that yes I’m fine and discussing the sensationalized news stories. Yes the virus is very real, but as my colleagues and I have discussed many of times; we are over feeling like we have to defend China and our lives there. I left for New Zealand before the outbreak and changed my flight back to the states as my school was delayed starting and has since further delayed. It did put a damper on my trip to NZ, but of course I still had a great time traveling the country and seeing the sites!
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25 Memories for Turning 25

Surprise I’m 25! On my birthday, my coworkers totally surprised and pranked me! They had a decoy cake on the morning followed by a prank in the afternoon where they told me our December holiday was canceled. I actually was fine and said I would be gone no matter what. Ha! Needless to say, I had a great day and wonderful dinners with friends. 25 feels so good and I’ve had an amazing year. Here are 25 memories that I have loved and will cherish forever. And I truly believe the best is yet to come! Cheers to 25.

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Zebra Class: Life in Shanghai

The school year is in motion and I am loving my class of 20 interesting, funny, smart, and energetic students! We are the Zebra class and are settling into our daily routines and having so much fun getting to know each other. Here we are at circle time playing a guess the word game with one kid acting it out. We have a lot to do everyday and these kids are just so amazing. They all know each other and have been coming to the school for 2-3 years since they were little babies! This really is such an incredible age.

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The Rainbow Mountains of China in Zhangye, Gansu Province (and Xi’an)

I took an incredible three day trip to see the Rainbow Mountains which are a geological phenomenon! I planned this trip Sunday night and left Tuesday morning. I’ve had this past week off post-summer camp and pre-school year. My passport is currently at the bureau to transfer my work visas which means I can only travel within China! If I had my passport I would’ve left the country, but I’m so glad I had this opportunity to visit another corner of China! I stayed in a yurt for two nights, gazed at stars and decompressed from the insanity of city life in Shanghai. Currently I am in Xi’an for the day before I head back to Shanghai.

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