It’s the graduating season again and the life skills class led by professor Li Xiaowen is also coming to an end. During the entire course of study, it is evident that the students have grown to become mature individuals themselves.
The Young Bakers are always enthusiastic and considerate. They would make tea for teachers before the class and share the breads they made with us. However, looking back at the start of the course, most of our Young Bakers were extremely shy and did not know how to express themselves. In order to help them build confidence, we designed a chain of classes such as people-relation classes, poetry and practical classes. Through these classes, the students’ ability to express themselves have greatly increased. Many students who were not able to speak up on stage or express their thoughts and emotions have slowly learnt to do so and this has benefited them greatly, creating a more vibrant interaction between students, teachers and their intern mates too. Our Young Bakers have indeed grown and embodies compassion and thoughtfulness which can be seen through acts of services as simply as pouring a cup of water for the teacher before class starts and sharing their bakes with teachers.
In addition, we have initiated an activity club whereby our students take turns to lead small group activities. For example, during reading and people-relation classes, students are tasked to break into small groups and work together to reenact a real-life scenario. Our students would also play music in the background during their scenes to immerse themselves into character and to also create a more relatable scene, bringing the audience into play as well. This hands-on activity has trained the students in team work, responsibility and problem solving skills which are all important skills for work in the future. And even our most introverted student has stepped out of his shell under the constant encouragement from his peers and teachers.
After our students completed their literature course in the first semester, there was change for the better in their attitude towards learning and working in a team. Therefore, we shifted the course focus to hone the students’ individual organizational skills and the ability to think in the second semester. Our students go for practical management classes and learn how to plan and execute the plan when a task is given with specific requirements and how to work along with a change of events. In addition, our students also attend science classes which trains their thinking ability too.
After a year of getting to know each other, we are not just teachers and students by name but we have grown to become more like family. Students actively show care and gratitude towards their teachers by sharing their bakes as mentioned above and during Teachers Day our students gathered to video heartfelt messages for their teachers. What a sweet way of saying thank you to their lovely teachers!
As the Young Bakers graduation draws near, we cannot help but wonder where would they all go after graduating from class in the future? Well, we believe from the bottom of our hearts that no matter where they are or where they would be, they will be ready to face whatever that would come before them. As they have each come a long way as individuals and have grown to be a bunch of lively and independent ‘Young Bakers’.
School of Psychology and Cognitive Science China Normal East University