Making dumplings at home with my mom is a memory I cherish but never recalled sharing the experience with my classmates and teachers when I went to school. When asked what I did over the weekend, I never felt comfortable sharing the experience. I don’t want that to be the case for my students and their families. I want them to feel welcomed in school and think of our classroom as a second home where all are accepted and embraced with loving arms.
When the project was funded, we were quickly approaching the end of the school year. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to make dumplings with that group of pre-K students. Summer was around the corner and that would be the perfect opportunity to bring in the experience. Our incoming pre-K campers were excited and thrilled to hear that we would be making dumplings. We introduced the different ingredients needed and the appliances we would use to cook it. We read the books that introduced characters that looked familiar and topics that our kids are familiar with. Dumplings, Dim Sum or yum cha, Xiao long bao, all the different vocabulary that seemed to be only used when they were with their families were now a part of our language in school.
It was such a beautiful experience watching beginners, intermediate, and expert dumpling makers all get a chance to partake in an experience that is so unique in a school setting. Our summer teacher’s assistants helped our kids in the processes. Many shared their experience of a time when they were younger and also made dumplings at home with their parents.