February 25, 2017 - Michael Salinger

YK Pao International School – Shanghai


A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.
Chinese proverb

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.


I believe this would be called an anthology of librarians.

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.


Trying a reading nook on for size – all I need is a book.

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.


Version 1 of a poem defining Ambition.

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!

Leave a Reply



“Sara and Michael bring infectious energy and joy leavened with deep knowledge of best practices in literacy to their work with children and teachers.” Ellin Keene – Author of Mosaic of Thought and The Teacher You Want to Be
“Sara and Michael bring magic, and a contagious love of words to both students and teachers alike!” Georgia Heard - Author of Awakening the Heart: Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School More testimonials...