Nothing brings hundreds of students and teachers together like a game. That is exactly what happened this year during Huamei’s Sports Day. It all started weeks earlier.
Jay Chen had been tasked with organizing the afternoon games for the middle-school and high-school students. This is a classic here at Huamei, it combines whole-group participation, competition, and a lot of laughs. Mr. Chen meticulously planned out 28 different activities. The leader brought tired and hungry teachers together during lunch meetings and WeChat discussions to make sure everything moved along seamlessly.
October 23 at 1:30 in the afternoon, the plan went into motion. Teams of students started moving around. Some began singing renditions of Justin Bieber’s top hits, others began to ascend the climbing wall, and still more began silly races and competitions of all sorts.
I personally hosted “Feet on the Bricks”. It is a classic team building sport. Two teams composed of 6 guys and 6 gals have to cross a “river of lava” by stepping on foam bricks (apparently lava resistant), get their whole team across, and retrieve their precious foam stones. Student after student fell into the lava and had to try again, but they did not show anger or malice as they played along. What I saw were the cornerstones of GIC’s values being displayed again and again: respect, dignity, integrity, and honor. As losing teams left my station I heard students saying “thank-you” and saw opposing teams smiling and walking along.
We should all feel proud to have teachers like Mr. Chen who plan months ahead of time for 2 hours of great fun. We should all feel proud of our Huamei Middle School and HighSchool and how we have disseminated the values we cherish.
(Note to the editor: this piece was written by Andrew Corson who teaches grade 7 and 9 GIC students. Director Jonathan Tragash organized the authors and publishing dates for the GIC international teachers)