Next Monday, September 24th, is the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival (zhong qiu jie) which is one of the most important festivals in China. According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the 15th day of the 8th month is the exact middle of autumn; hence it is called the Mid-Autumn Festival. It is an evening celebration when families gather together to light lanterns, eat moon cakes and appreciate the round moon.
I work to remember to have celebrations with my students. To celebrate both the large and the small, the success and the failure. Often teachers (or at least me as a teacher) get caught up in the things that have to happen (the standards, paperwork, and the bulletin boards), and we lose sight of the small successes that occur in our classrooms every day.
Today in biology class we did a reading comprehension exercise. In this class, many of the students are experiencing an American style (English only) education for the first time. As we did, a whole class read out-loud many of the students were hesitant to read, because they did not know how to pronounce some of the words. After a short speech of encouragement that assured the reluctant students that the class works as a team, I was able to get two of the most hesitant students to read out loud. After each girl read her paragraph the class burst into applause. We all celebrated their success.
While my students are not biological families, I am working to ensure that we build a positive school "family" environment where everyone feels safe enough to read a difficult passage and to ensure that we also celebrate everyone's successes. Not every celebration has to include moon cake or a lantern, but it is important to cultivate a culture of celebration in the classroom.
A teacher from the United States of America, currently teaching abroad. I teach science to middle and high school students. I enjoy reading and doing nerd things.