I was having a bad morning. It didn’t really have anything to do with China, in particular, just a blah day. I hadn’t slept well. I had things on my mind. I missed the bus because I felt like changing my shoes at the last minute. I forgot my umbrella and had to go back for it. Ugh. But then, the taxi driver was nice. He knew where the school is and I didn’t have to explain or show him the map or convince him this foreigner knows the way even though she isn’t allowed to drive in this country. And I felt it starting to turn around. No more shadow day. I stumbled on a better place to be.
When I got to school, one thing after another made me smile and reaffirmed I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Little Simon waved to me from the other side of the Kindergarten classroom and said, “Good Morning, Miss Julie.” Perfect. Tom re-enacted a tv commercial for me using part English-part charades. Awesome. My taobao order had been delivered to Miss Sunny and she gave me the new black and pink handbag we both loved. Smile. Our school staff got new name badges and, in my third year as a volunteer, guess who is now official? Wow. And Enoch, who, three weeks ago wouldn’t speak out loud, walked up behind me and read English words off the computer. T-H-E the. All before noon. Quite the turn-around.
At one point, I was working on the computer in the First Grade classroom, listening to the lesson. Every day, they talk about their classroom oath, a code the teachers instill in them through repetition and excellent role modeling. I was reminded that we could all use a lesson from First Grade once in a while.
In This Classroom…
We care about each other.
We share what we have.
We listen to each other.
When someone says stop, we stop.
We help each other learn.
We are kind to others when they make mistakes.
We always do these things, even when no one is watching.
And I’ll add one more. We always do these things, even when others do not.
To be Jedi is to face the truth, and choose. Give off light, or darkness, Padawan. Be a candle, or the night. Thanks, Yoda.