We started off the day at Xi'an International Studies University Middle School. Mr Zhang, the principal, shared information about the recruitment and evaluation of principals and teachers. The system in China is quite different in most respects. One of the more interesting differences to me was that the principals have no say in hiring and firing teachers. They also are moved around by the Bureau, there is no such thing as applying for a position, being interviewed, and then selected.
One of the highlights of this visit was seeing the morning exercises. You will see the scope of this in the photo album for that day. There were 1700 students participating in exercises simultaneously, from kindergarten through 8th grade. It was quite incredible to see. When the exercises were done, the youngest students rushed the stage where we were watching and wanted to touch all of our hands and greet us. I don't think any of us have ever felt like rock stars at school, so this was quite fun!!
After lunch, we went to a vocational school, specializing in the art of the Chin Opera. The students at this school had to complete an entrance examination. They study English, Chinese, politics, math, and history in the mornings and then spend four hours in the afternoon honing their craft in the arts. The students live on campus and are all hoping to be employed by the opera when they finish school. The talent and dedication were clearly present with all of the students.
We followed this by a lovely dinner at the Tang Dynasty Music Center. This was a lively show based on the Chin Opera.