It is now after Mid-Autumn Festival and as we continue into fall, we can see the moon more. The moon was already rising by the time parents had entered Tsinglan School for Curriculum Night for grades three through five. This was an excellent opportunity for our school to welcome and communicate with parents. Curriculum Night was also the first time most new students’ parents to know our school and teachers personally. Importantly to all, that night was the first of our meetings with parents since the ‘Double Reduction’ policy was implemented.
「深耕学术、发展内涵」，这个夜晚首先从李校长、Hammond校长提纲挈领的分享开始。他们描绘了清澜山未来发展的壮阔蓝图，介绍了中西深度融合的学术理念，探讨了如何培养人才的发展方向，对孩子们从小学到初中的过渡寄予了殷殷的期盼。这是很多家长和两位校长的首次正式见面，但两位校长的专业和风度深深吸引了大家，让人感到一见如故。随后，小学部 Mr.Curtis 校长向大家表达了问候，并祝愿学科说明会圆满结束。
「Strengthen academia and develop to discover deeper meaning」 was the strong introduction that Principal Li and Mr. Hammond use to lay the framework of how the evening would proceed. The described their plans for Tsinglan School into the future, and the vision of how to absorb and integrate the advantages of both Chinese and Western education models. Principal Li and Mr. Hammond highlighted what type of students Tsinglan wants to develop. Tsinglan wants to develop students that can discover and go deeper into meanings of different subjects. They also explained the expectations of lower school students to achieve on their way to middle school. For many parents, this was the first time for them to meet Tsinglan’s leaders in a formal setting, their apparent warmth and professionalism presented to parents led to an understanding of sincere friendliness and caring for all of our students. Then, our Lower School Director, Mr. Laurence Curtis, greeted parents and wished the curriculum night a complete success.
After this introduction, parents separated into their separate venues to hear directly from the teachers of the 16 different subjects that their child attends on a weekly basis. Teachers were able to meet with parents in a closer form. Even after a full day of teaching, the teachers were not showing any fatigue. Teachers were so full of enthusiasm to show our parents in their first meeting what they are doing towards a common goal; the education and development of students.
Collaborate cultivating community culture. In order to cultivate a community of collaboration, grade 3 students have had several activities that align with the grade 5 graduation project. During Curriculum Night, ideas were shared about grade-level culture that students had discussed previously. The ideas were clear. First, learn something good from our peers. Second, correct mistakes made and guard against mistakes if you haven’t made any. Finally, express gratitude to others. This meeting deductively let parents know more about our school and grade, and to help educate students jointly build a more civil community.
「SEL」, social and emotional learning, has always been a characteristic course of Tsinglan School. Teachers believe in our motto, that we can ‘try and all is possible’. Compared to teaching, education is more important. SEL is a subject devoted to education. Parents clearly understood third grade’s interpretation of the subject. SEL focuses on game teaching and focuses on students to learn through play and action. Rich classroom activities and game teaching curriculum not only attracts student interest, but also stimulates students to reach their potential and make this course popular with students. The teacher took a moment to encourage all of our parents to seize every opportunity to educate their child and work with Tsinglan to guide children to be: open-minded, adventurous, optimistic, and confident learners.
「数学B」: 三年级的数学老师在会上详细介绍了家长们十分关注的英数课程和评估细则，说明了老师们对课堂作业和家庭作业的期望，也对家长们如何在家里支持孩子的学习提供了建议。令家长们十分欣慰的是英文数学的分层作业不仅仅能帮助孩子们更好的取得进步，也能让程度不那么好的孩子们在学习中找到自信。为了支持孩子们在家里的数学学习，老师们强烈建议使用既能提供及时反馈又能为孩子们提供教程的 IXL 进行练习。
At curriculum night, the Grade 3 Math B team discussed the curriculum, grading breakdown, classwork and homework expectations, and how families can support children at home. Math work is differentiated, so students who are struggling may have differing tasks compared to students who work at a faster pace. It’s important for students to complete all classwork and homework. To support children at home, the math teachers recommend using IXL to practice. IXL is an excellent way to revise what we have learned in class since it can provide immediate feedback for students.
In grade 4, the theme had two parts that interplay. Teachers work according to the needs and actions of the students, and students would then follow instruction and reach beyond to gain understanding. Curriculum Night started from a tree of all of the homeroom teachers and the numbers 135, 10, and 8. 135 represents the number of total teaching years held by the 13 teachers. 10 represents the average number of years teaching. 8 represents the average number of years teaching in international schools. This great number of years is a tree that students can rely on confidently. Experienced and newer teachers are mixed in the homeroom to bring mutual benefit of teachers and students. This experience explains the high level of professionalism where teachers can take unexpected moments and change them into learning moments the won’t be easily forgotten.
The Grade 4 expectations are,
Grade 4’s Chinese math has two teachers who talked together in a familiar manner, evidence of their long experience working together. They have recently focused on how to improve the efficiency of reading math problems and their ability to do problems both on and off paper. Children are also learning to think logically, which is the main purpose of any math class. They also learn how to use math to solve real world problems to make it more relatable as well. The humor of the teachers led to great applause from parents, but in truth, their classes are even more interesting. Tsinglan’s two teachers here are able to engross students into class. The philosophy is simple, but effective. Teachers want students to like them. This translates eventually into liking math as well. Using teachers’ guidance to understand math, the children eventually love math by themselves.
English is the backbone of many subjects’ ability to function. To this end, English Literature (EL), English Language Arts (ELA), and Reading teachers took time to explain their roles and goals for all parents to be clear on. Reading and writing are the backbone of EL’s curriculum. Students are expected to engage with texts actively and prove comprehension in writing on guiding questions. They are supported by the tireless work of ELA teachers to master the use of: vocabulary, grammar, and language usage. ELA is the foundation that EL can then build on and expand understanding about different genres and topics. Finally, but not least, Reading class guides leads students into more texts and resources available and build a natural interest in reading. All combined, students are set to succeed and excel in English language acquisition at Tsinglan School and meet standards from the American Common Core Curriculum via Wonders textbooks to ensure students obtain an education equivalent to native students in the U.S. Teachers also pointed to both AR and MyOn systems to encourage reading and comprehension outside of class.
The Chinese Science teacher directly introduced lesson contents, as well as teaching methodology and theory for grade 4. She also offered many useful suggestions for parents to use to help students continue learning while at home. They also showed the relationship of materials compared to the U.S. Common Core Curriculum. Science of lower school focuses on the basics on a wide variety of fields of science and the practical use of each. Young learners of this age must rely on the world around us to truly understand science. Parents were left with the great words, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn”.
The motto for grade 5 is fertile soil helps kids to bloom. The center of a campus should always be our students. In order to achieve this, teachers used the school’s Family Handbook as their base. It clarifies boundaries, provides support, and allows students to think, participate, and contribute. Our environment shapes us. We have these five expectations: responsibility, friendship, focus, self-discipline, and respect to other students. With this, we hope to build a positive atmosphere and provide unremitting motivation for students to continue forward.
The first part of curriculum to be introduced was Chinese. Teachers explained how and what is learned. To highlight, examples of recent projects were shown of students actively learning, questions, and doing outstanding works. Teachers hope students consolidate their Chinese knowledge, accumulate more information, and then output what they know through speech and writing. From proficiency, other important traits like Chinese culture, aesthetic interests, thorough ability to articulate in Chinese, and national pride.
Science teachers were not only able to clearly describe content, goals, and requirements, but they were able to do so while earning laughter and applause from parents attending. Teacher-student interaction was also made clear and how curiosity and creativity are fostered in a comfortable atmosphere. Scientific concepts learned in class could almost be compared to a magic or comedy show in engagement and entertainment.
Words fail to express, so many subjects can't be discussed in such a short writing. The performance of teachers is double difficult to write. We were able to only discuss these few but wanted to mention the entire lower school's tireless physical education teachers, the enthusiastic drama teachers, the insightful art teachers, the humorous computer teachers, the elegant and giving music teachers, and the calligraphy teachers who must fuse East and West. They are an equal and equally important part of Tsinglan's education for our students.
Precious things have an unfortunate habit of ending too soon. This night was evident of this truth. Not wanting to end the evening, we had one more event for the evening. Homeroom meetings. In the rooms, drinks and snacks were provided to sustain everyone late into the evening. After a formal introduction in each homeroom, discussions quickly flowed: what community we want to build, how to support students academically and emotionally, and how to cooperate with parents. There were two different parts heard clearly through the halls, talks between parents and teachers, and applause of mutual admiration of our mutual goal, the best for our children.
冰心先生在《霞》这篇文章里引用了一句话“May there be enough clouds in your life to make a beautiful sunset.”, 她将其译成“愿你的生命中有够多的云翳，来造成一个美丽的黄昏。” 这是一句令人惊心的话，我们将其改成了“May there be enough challenges in your school life to build a glorious future.”因为我们希望每一个清澜山的学生都能经历足够多的挑战，来成就一个辉煌的未来。
A master writer, Bing Xin, once quoted a truth that she had come across in her book Sunset, “May there be enough clouds in your life to make a beautiful sunset.” We changed this phrase to apply to our hope for our students, “May there be enough challenges in your school life to build a glorious future.” We desire every student to have enough challenges to help them to strive for their dreams now and in the future.
Great feedback is always great to hear. Here are some of the comments we were lucky enough to hear back from those that attended:❞
The homeroom meeting was a meaningful and effective way to open clear lines of communication with parents. Parents were greeted with a warm welcome. They were given a general idea of students’ daily schedule and goals for the year, and reminded that they are seen as essential partners in their children's education. This partnership is integral for parent, teacher and student success. When we work together, everyone wins. This meeting was a great opportunity to build trust with parents.❞
——Ms. Phillecia Pietersen
The homeroom meeting was productive experience where we could share our approaches on classroom procedures, student jobs, and behavior management. We also highlighted the importance of parent-teacher communication and gave parents tips on how they can help their child come to school prepared and how parents can help us, the teachers, as well. Jiayou!❞
——Mr. Tom Gates
The homeroom meeting time was used to present our classroom management procedures, as well as expectations from the school and homeroom teachers. We talked about the teachers that are teaching our class, their schedules, and responsibilities in and out of the classroom. Special attention was put on that how parents can help with preparing their children for school, monitor their development and communicate with us effectively.❞
——Mr. Milos Pantelic
The homeroom meeting was very fruitful. We presented to the parents our classroom management system, our reward system and the activities we do during homeroom time. Parents were very appreciative of the opportunity to meet and greet teachers in person and see the whole classroom set up. Meeting the parents was very productive and worthwhile.❞
——Mr. Malachy Sheeran
Thanks to this meeting that I had the chance to introduce the general situation of Language Arts teaching in Grade 4. ELA focuses on reading, vocabulary and grammar. In intensive reading of various texts, through context analysis and critical topic discussion, students will be able to practice their reading skills, learn vocabulary and grammar concepts. Through this meeting, parents can also have a deeper understanding of all the other subjects, which is beneficial for the future teaching practices and mutual communication between the school and parents.❞
——Mr. Billson Ye
There is a Chinese saying, that you need to hands to clap, education of youth is the same. The hands of parents and teachers must be joined to educate students to the heights of their potential. Finally, we were able to meet the other half in person and come together in devotion to our common goal. Even at such a late hour, parents and teachers were as enthusiastic as if it were still the morning. That is the magic of being a parent or teacher, the child is worth everything and we will give them our all.❞
——Mr. Caleb Barger
At the beginning of the year parents and teachers met online for the first parent-teacher conference of 5th grade. Last night there was a new level of connection made between the homeroom teachers and the parents. I was truly blown away by the receptiveness and attentiveness of the parents. We discussed many important aspects of school life for the students in our class from being a part of a helpful community. Parents and teachers working together to help this amazing bunch of kids work towards graduation and prepare them for their next step into middle school is what Grade 5 is all about.❞
——Ms. Christina L. Zuloaga
It was great to see the parents and talk with them face to face. It was also great opportunities to share our curriculum to them. However, we could improve on time/date schedule in the future. I would have been nice to have more homeroom time to share the parents about class management, students’ behavior and so on. I also heard that some of parents wanted to have time to talk to other parents.❞
——Ms. Yoshie Hirano
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