Friday, September 20, 2013

Dinner at school

Last night we had a family meet and greet dinner at the girls' school. We got the chance to visit the classroom and teachers, meet the other families and have dinner. Kate and Lucy were so funny in such different ways.

Lucy immediately started hiding in my skirt, peeking out and laughing but hanging onto me almost for the duration of our time there. Once in the classroom, she literally dragged me from one part of the room to the next, showing me her favorite activity stations, her cubby, her artwork, etc. She was a ball of energy, bouncing all over the place while remaining in physical contact with me. When she saw her friend Alex come in the door, she dragged me over to meet him.

Kate, meanwhile, settled in with one activity at a table with Len and stayed there for quite some time. We had to kind of prod her to show us around the room as she kept finding something of interest to focus on. She managed to make two bracelets while we were there in addition to adding up beads over in the math section. Kate told us that it is "so nice in class because it's calm and relatively quiet. All the noise and running around is for outside". I could totally see that this would be true...her teachers are very zen, firm but gentle.

Len and I both got the chance to speak with her primary teacher and get her take on them. She is very good at rotating them around so that they are not always together (like for lunch, at circle time, etc). She said Kate is very quiet, very focused on her activities, with a sweet personality who seems happy in school. She comes over occasionally to "report that Lucy is doing something she shouldn't be" to which Ms. Xiang refocuses her back to her own play without immediately acting on the information.  She said Lucy is very active and needs to be redirected back to her activity but is overall very happy and social. She said they were opposite in nearly every way!

Len and I were both impressed with how much responsibility they are already showing in class. They both got stuff out carefully and put it back away before moving on to something else. They pushed their chairs back in when finished, set up the table for snacks, cleaned it all up afterwards and then headed into the bathroom to wash up. There were pitchers of water and milk set up in the snack area and we noticed that all the kids poured their own drinks, got their own snacks and set up their place settings all on their own. They were polite to the other kids and by the time supper was over, they were all running around with a few of their friends in the gym.

Lucy and Kate were beaming at being able to show us around, introduce us to their friends and generally be more knowlegeable than their parents for the evening.

They were so....grown up.


Elizabeth said...

So glad to read all of this. I would love to teach both of your girls. Kate for her determination and focus and Lucy for her spunk! It sounds like the pre- school is great. Do the instructors use a mix of Mandarin and English to get started?

Lisa said...

The teachers speak almost exclusively in Mandarin, using gestures to help them understand. If the kids truly have no idea, then they will say it in English and then repeat it in Mandarin.

likeschocolate said...

Happy you had a great evening!


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