A New Year symbol of changes and accomplishments
新改变 新进步 迎接新一年
The Young Bakers just came back from home after celebrating New Year with their families and relatives they haven’t seen for one semester. They have already completed half of their curriculum and it is time for them as for us to think about all challenges they have been facing since they arrived in Shanghai.
A few months ago, when the Young Bakers started the program, we could see fear and interrogation for the future in their eyes. A lack of confidence that started to disappear when they baked their first breads in class and get in five stars hotels or high standard bakeries in the city to start their internship. They begin to measure what this new environment offers as opportunities and how they could be part of it if they work hard.
Learning a skill is essential for a better future but they need tools to use it efficiently. This year Shanghai Young Bakers partners with Professor Li Xiaowen from East China Normal University to develop a specific life skills curriculum for the Young Bakers. The development of a self-identity is essential for teenagers to become responsible adults. Professor Li Xiaowen and Professor Wu Yuru together with their graduate students and our social educator Zhu Yunyun explain the approach:
The curriculum is designed to be close to the students, integrating psychological intervention, knowledge acquisition, capability cultivation, and artistic expression. Students are trained to develop the capability of self-adjustment through a series of activities resulting in solving the problems they face in their study and daily lives. During the first semester the focus was put on the following aspects:
- Cultivating the sense of being in a group, the spirit of collaboration, and the capability of organizing things;
- Designing the curriculum so that specific issues common in students’ lives are addressed;
- Inspiring students to seek self-improvement.
Students are exposed to knowledge in various fields by performing in sketches based on some literary pieces so that they will feel inspired and start to think about the meaning of life. Students are also encouraged to create and act in their own mini-plays, expressing themselves through poetry or drama with an extended horizon, and strengthening kinship, friendship, and ties with their home country. By doing so, students have acquired a sense of self-identity and self-development.
Through this program and activities specially designed for them, the Young Bakers changed a lot and accept who they were and who they want to be in the future.
That is the best gift we can receive from them for the New Year. On the behalf of the Young Bakers we wish you all a Happy Year of the Rooster!