International Day is my favorite school event. When you have an awesome event like this you don’t mind being at school on a Saturday from 9:30-2. In fact, if it were a week long event I would probably volunteer 10-15 hours just like I did when I was a student at the UofO. Honoring and supporting diversity is something I am very passionate about!
I think my love of all things international started when I was a student at a very diverse high school in Portland, Oregon (James Madison). My passion for the international really grew my freshman year while I was a member of the International Student Association for four years at the University of Oregon. International Week and Night was our biggest event! A major difference from my experiences as an international school teacher and my experience at UO is that the ISA made it into a week long event where we would host demonstrations, games, performances, and then FINALLY an I-Night where there were performances and food from all over the world, whereas most international schools only allocate one day for the event.
I always expected International Day at international schools to be similar to International Week at UO, but they haven’t really been anything like that. At the ASFC (international school in Mexico) I seem to remember it being a week long, but not really involving the families or local community. At BIBA (international school in China) we had an International Day, but I just remember it being very stressful for teachers. At ELM (international school in Venezuela) we didn’t celebrate International Day. Finally, at CIC Valencia (current school) I have had my best International Day experience!
At my current school we started the day with a parade (I lead the group of students representing Germany), each grade hosted a game with the proceeds going to a local charity, there were musical and dance performances, soccer (of course!), and parents brought in fabulous food from different cultures (proceeds from this also going to charity).
My grade hosted a beanbag toss (not very “cultural” but most other activities weren’t either). Our game earned 268 tickets (or 1340 Bs). The best part is that the students were required to “volunteer” their time to work the events. Each student in the third grade only had to volunteer for 20 minutes, but during those 20 minutes they were working hard! They were in charge of accepting tickets, counting the number of candies won (with maximum of 18 candies), giving out candy prizes, and explaining how to play the game. The students were all very enthusiastic and very happy to help. Everyone showed up to work their “shift” so everyone could have a good time. I absolutely loved working there too!
Another highlight was seeing one of my students perform Flamenco ALL BY HERSELF. As a new intensive ESL student I mostly see her as a quiet and shy girl in my class, but when she got on that stage you could tell that she was confident in her abilities. I wish I could post a video of her dancing because it was truly beautiful. She is a great dancer!
The only thing I wish to make International Day at CIC even better is if we could turn it into a week long event, have each class study different countries and then make some kind of presentation about it, and yet keep the fun, community feel that it has now. All things considered, it was the best International Day event I’ve experienced outside of the UO!
Does your school celebrate International Day? How does your school celebrate? Is it a week long event or one day?
How wonderful! I worked in Nicaragua. All of the embassies sent their children to our school. It was so much fun.
What school did you work at in Nicaragua? I haven’t heard much about the international schools there, but I’m toying with the idea of visiting Nicaragua next summer and might not mind a little stop at a great school.
It is incredible! the American Nicaraguan School! It is located in Managua! Now it has a real hospital and two macdonald’s. A real mall and a couple of good sized grocery store with American products? The closest active volcano is 30 miles away. It makes for a great field trip! There are lagoons lakes and lots of expats. There is a woman named Monica that organized Girl’s Night Out! It is once a month on Thursdays? Pot luck. I have met woman from every single country I think. The Finnish language was so fun to here. Everyone is tied together by the English language. I even met an Iranian woman who married a Nicaraguan. He divorced here and left. She stayed on and took over the coffee farms!
As a teacher, you can live on the campus in small tiny apartments. It is good for one person. There is taxi driver that everyone uses.
Oh.. And Granada… The oldest settlement in Latin America is about 40 minutes away. Talk about some history! It is definitely worth taking a look at!
What an experience for your kiddos. We have a heritage pageant during the winter holidays, but it is nothing compared to your school’s commitment to this study. What a great event.
In response to your questions about blogging in 3rd grade, my answer would be yes! Just look at the classroom slice of life roundup. I know there are classes in this group even younger. I’ll reply back on my blog to you questions in more detail.
A heritage pageant sounds fun! My last school had a Halloween “Fashion Show” and the kids loved it. These kids love to be on stage!
I haven’t checked out the classroom SOL because it seems so out of reach for my students this year. I might just go poke around there now. Thanks!
This sounds like so much fun. At our school we have a Spring Festival, but it is only multicultural in the food that the parents make, mostly Hmong and Mexican food. Delicious, but not all that diverse.You idea of making it a week long sounds great, I think.
I don’t think I’ve ever had Hmong food but I sure love homemade Mexican food. Yum!