Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Everything I needed to know I learned in preschool?

from Ann, teaching in The People's Republic of China...

Around the world, this week marked the beginning of a new school year.
For many preschool children it was the first time to go to school. And what does the first week of preschool look like for most children? Learning where ones desk is located is one major task. Understanding the rules and routine of the classroom is another. Meeting a whole bunch of new friends. Remembering which is your lunch box and where your parents will pick you up after class. Yes, the first few months of school are pretty much the same no matter where you are. In time they will begin to learn other lessons such as to safely play on the playground or cross the street. How to be a friend. What to do in case of an emergency. Ask any child in the US who has made it through a year of school and they can tell you that for an emergency you dial 9-1-1. In China a child would dial 1-1-9! This is the phone number for emergencies where one would need the police, fire department or medical assistance. On the other hand, if it is not an emergency but you still need to the police one would dial 0-1-1.This is commonly used in the case of a fender bender or a domestic disturbance. There are a host of other X-1-1 phone numbers but since I have not attended Chinese preschool, I personally am not clear on the particulars of the others.The good news is at any point in time I surrounded by youth who not only know what number to dial, but probably also have a cell phone to dial it with. Some things change so quickly.... and yet other things, such as the first day of school, remain essentially the same year after year.

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