To say that today was mind-blowing would be an understatement! I have experienced the Chinese school system first hand and have been inspired by what I have seen – you guys would love it! So where do I begin?
The start of the day was waking up at 5:00 am and leaving by 6:30 am via a taxi. Let me just say right from the beginning that driving in Shanghai is madness. You have bicycles, you have scooters, you have pedestrians and you have so many cars. They also all work by their own rules so everyone goes everywhere – it is literally organised chaos, but it works! There were a few times when I had to close my eyes but we got there in the end.
We jumped on board a high speed train and we were off. Some of these trains can travel over 200 miles an hour which means they are incredibly fast. Ours didn’t go this fast but it was definitely an experience! We were picked up from the station in our own car, which made me feel a bit like a movie star – a very tired one.
We were taken to the Schangcheng district in Hangzhou, google it, and we visited our first school which was called Tiandi. The school name literacy means the Sky and the Earth and it was awesome! There was a group of staff there when we arrived and they invited us in like VIP guests. They had the school band there and they played the drums to invite us in to their school, happy smiling faces and great music – definitely my idea of a Lings welcome. All the teachers that visited our school last year were there as well and they all asked how you were doing? They said they loved their visit so much that they had come back and talked to others about what they had done.
They then took us to the hall and on the way there they were talking about my lesson that I was going to teach. When I got to the hall I saw that there was about 100 delegates waiting for me to talk – panic! But as we always say – growth mindset and come out of your comfort zone. Year 6 I did a lot of Don’t Panic and bit by bit!
I then did a talk about Lings and showed them some pictures and talked about some of the great things you do. I also had to teach a LIVE drama lesson with a great bunch of children and a LIVE drama lesson to a group of staff. It was superb and I had such a great time doing it.
The school was incredible and I have included some pictures.
We then got the chance to visit two more brilliant schools in Hanzhou and they were the Wahaha school and the Shidai school. Both were so welcoming and friendly and the work they are doing in the creative arts is superb.
I have included some pictures of the day and I can honestly say it has been an exceptional visit. Everyone says hi and they can’t wait to start working with all of us.
Mission 3 – Tell me all there is to know about Hangzhou and the schooling system in the district? I met the director of education tonight and need to know as much about his area as possible – HELP! Do not just copy text and paste it!
See you all soon!