Posted by Michelle Lee on 5/16/2018


            One of the many restrictions students in China are required to follow is wearing uniforms. The Jingshan School in specific has their main uniforms, which consists of a blue, red, white, and black jacket and all blue sweatpants. This makes it especially easy for them to pick out their outfits in the mornings. It also makes it super easy to spot fellow Jingshan students around Beijing. This isn’t just true to the Jingshan school though, almost every school in China requires their students to wear a uniform. Therefore, you’re bound to see many different uniforms when walking around the city. Each school's uniforms are specific to their school, it’s what makes them different from other schools and sets them apart from one another.

America is different. There’s no way to distinguish students from different schools just by their clothes. Although some private schools have uniforms most public schools allow their students to wear whatever they want with very few regulations. The only time students in America wear uniforms is for sport related activities like games. Unless you’re like my brothers and I and do Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. These after school activities are some of the few that require their participants to wear designated clothes. Similar to the Jingshan school, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts have different uniforms for different age groups. The different levels make it easy to guess the age of the child wearing the certain color. I’ve realized this is a lot like students in China.

The Jingshan School has eight different branches, all in various parts of China. The one factor that ties them all together is their uniforms. Our group recently took a trip to one of the branch schools where we taught first and second grade classes. We decided to teach them some English vocabulary and afterwards we played some games incorporating the new words. At first I was scared, but by the end of the day I had so much fun. Also during our visit we were even given the chance to participate in a group panel. Students were able to ask us any questions they had about America and our stay. I was able to learn so much from the students and they were able to lean a lot from us as well.

A huge connection I’ve made by visiting a branch school of the Jingshan School was how similar it is to Girl Scouts for me. The whole experience of teaching little kids and playing games, while they’re all in uniforms has really taken me back to America. Since I’m a cadette now in Girl Scouts, that means I’m a role model to all the younger girls. We also hold a lot of activities where all the older girls lead stations and inform the younger girls all about science and many other things. I’ve learned through this that in order for younger kids to pay attention to what you're saying you need to have them partake in hands on activities. I’ve been doing Girl Scouts since I was little, and although most people stop doing it after a while, I’ve stayed with it. I’ve watched other Girls teach me, until eventually I was the one doing the teaching. My leadership skills definitely came in handy when teaching the younger students here in China. It has also created a parallel from teaching in America and teaching in China, and shown me just how similar they actually are.