For most nations across the globe, the Christmas season is the most celebrated season of the year. Many families invest time, money, and energy to ensure their loved ones have a great time. Celebrations among different communities have proved to be out of this world.
Not in China.
China does not celebrate Christmas like other countries. In fact, Christmas is not a national holiday in China. Furthermore, the population in China that practices Christianity is not significant.
Even though Christmas is not a norm in China, the nation has gradually embraced diversity. Thanks to the China job board for sharing more teaching jobs, the international population has grown more and more.
This aspect means that Christmas has been gaining popularity over the decades. Still, introducing Christmas to students is significant and should be done in a considerate and respectful way.
This article will shine some light on three ways to introduce Christmas to students as a teacher in China.
1. Acknowledge the value of Christmas in China.
Teaching in China also calls for some empathy. A part of enjoying the whole experience is embracing Chinese culture and putting yourself in the locals’ shoes. Before sharing your excitement about Christmas with students, it would be best to acknowledge that you understand that Christmas is not celebrated as much as in other countries.
The importance of acknowledging the nature of Christmas in China has several benefits, including;
- It creates a good rapport between the teacher and the students. Students will be more inclined to listen to their teacher when they notice that you understand and appreciate their history and culture.
- Acknowledgement develops trust between the students and the teachers. When you take the time to acknowledge your students and appreciate their efforts to learn while respecting their background, they are more likely to trust you. When they trust you, they will be more relaxed when you introduce Christmas to them.
- It boosts your students’ self-esteem.
- In general, it is a great leadership skill to acknowledge your students – they look up to you.
2. Teach your students the meaning of Christmas.
Introduce Christmas to your students the same way you’d introduce a new topic. It is essential to start basic, as most students won’t have much knowledge about Christmas. This idea helps them absorb the Christmas information as fun rather than forceful.
For example, you could start with the history of Christmas before introducing how Christmas is celebrated in different nations. Your teaching should be gradual to help your students understand why Christmas might be a great idea.
Another way you could teach the meaning of Christmas is by asking students to answer questions. This is a fun activity that can help students grasp more information about Christmas. The more students interact and answer questions, the more they understand about Christmas, and in turn, find it meaningful.
3. Introduce fun activities that relate to Christmas.
After introducing the basics of Christmas, it would be best to start making the introduction fun. There are many Christmas fun activities that you could present to students regardless of their level. This will help your students anticipate the joy of Christmas.
Here are some activities that you could introduce to your students;
- Making decorations. A big part of Christmas celebrations is the decorations. As a teacher, you can incorporate fun decorating activities like coloured glitters, flakes, and painting.
- Alphabet Christmas tree. For early childhood education, you could make the alphabets fun by creating an alphabet Christmas tree. This activity will not only make understanding Christmas fun, but it will also make learning in general enjoyable, which will help with the retention of information.
- Create a Christmas theme. One way to slowly introduce Christmas is by setting up a Christmas theme. A Christmas theme is famous for boosting the Christmas mood. Christmas colours are an excellent reminder that the Christmas season is around.
- Create and exchange cards. This is another activity that will boost the morale to experience Christmas. Imagine receiving a card from your friend? The creating and exchanging of cards is a magnificent impression of friendship. This, in turn, creates unity, which is also a selling point for Christmas. Many families reunite during Christmas.
In previous years, when it’s about Christmas time, Chinese students of all ages like to exchange cards, wear costumes, and try to get into the holiday mood. As a teacher in China, helping students make cards would be a great way to show support while teaching them more about Christmas.
Gifting is a big part of Christmas, and it would be best to consider certain gifts in Chinese culture, as some gifts are inappropriate. These efforts should translate to what you introduce to your students as well.
For example, here are some gifts/ideas that are inappropriate in Chinese culture;
- The clock/watch
- Pear – the fruit.
- Gifting products in fours.
- Using black and white wrappers.
It is essential to pass this knowledge to your students as some might not understand such taboos. The aim of your teaching should be to introduce Christmas to them, and therefore the gifting should also be explained in detail if possible.
Many students who celebrate Christmas in China acknowledge a happy occasion for getting together with friends or family. Introducing Christmas to your students, though, would be a great way to nurture diversity both at schools and at home.
As Christmas is getting more and more popular, students are finding joy in it. As a teacher in China, it’s your responsibility to ensure your students are changing with the rapid popularity of Christmas too.