February 25, 2017 - Michael Salinger
YK Pao International School – Shanghai
A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.
We begin this stint in China by speaking to a compilation of local librarians from English speaking schools in the city. A seditious bunch for sure headed up by our host Kendra Perkins who arranged and organized our first three days in Shanghai with the precision of a – well, a librarian.
We presented a few of our lessons – quick hit 20 minute writing clinics to help kids look deeper at their reading while still having fun and evidencing some learning without beating the joy of reading out of them at the same time.
After our session we went out for some Chinese food. I had pizza and Sara had a burger – but since we are in China it qualifies as Chinese food in my book.
The next day we got up early and rode to the outskirts of town to visit classrooms at the YK Pao International school upper school campus. This is a boarding school where the students spend the week at school and go home on the weekends. Our arrival serendipitously coincided with book week and students and staff were festooned in literary garb. I saw quite a few Hogwarts alum, Winnie the Pooh, X-person Storm etc. etc. Here Kendra handed us off to Grace the upper school librarian and after a quick tour of the library and some coffee we were ready to meet some students.
We visited four middle school classrooms and wrote some definition poems about big concept words. And, even though it was Friday and even though folks were dressed up in fancy dress, and even though we virtually dropped out of the sky into the classrooms – the kids were engaged and jumped in with two feet.
This was a perfect way to ease ourselves back into China – a little confab with some librarians – a convivial meal – a drive across town – meet some students – write a little – and skate into the weekend. Thank you to Kendra and her Husband Tony for the hospitality, to Grace for wrangling us and to all the librarians for their enthusiasm and humor.
Now – five more weeks in China!