After weeks of snow swimming, the Hyde community geared up for the school’s annual “International Week Celebrations.” Like many schools, the last six years have been marked by a drastic increase in students from abroad. Hyde School’s International Week is an intentional effort undertaken by students and faculty to acknowledge and celebrate the cultures that compose the Hyde community. In recognition of the mission laid out by the International Department, the week’s activities were not limited to one culture or celebration. Students engaged in a wide range of activities as well as an intentional effort by the students and faculty to acknowledge opportunities to learn about other cultures afforded to any member of the Hyde community.
Student leaders organized, planned, and performed the week’s activities. Sharing culture through hosting community events, public speaking, and singing and dancing, student leaders displayed the pride they have in their identities beyond the walls of the school. These student-lead initiatives model Hyde School at its best: a place where students celebrate what makes them unique in a shared community.
The week’s coincidence with the Chinese New Year ensures that students can practice customs from China and teach others what makes these traditions unique and meaningful. The opportunity for students to share their identities and traditions with the school created an opportunity for teachers to become the learners by making dumplings and learning Chinese.
The students did a great job of taking the lead with organizing the week and sharing their unique perspectives. Molly Yue and Sam Song, both freshmen, showed great courage in presenting to the whole school what life is like in their hometown. They showed how preparation and practice pays off in the end. Aaron Cao and Richard Tang, both juniors, displayed phenomenal leadership in the preparation of the Chinese New Year presentation by coming up with innovative ideas about how to share the holiday with the school. Sarah Fan and Tina She were essential behind the scenes, taking the point on decorating the campus. Overall, it was a great week where students were able to learn about the world and their place in it.
Ironically, the diversity of Hyde’s student body can sometimes make those differences less visible; the International Week celebration—described by students as “the best they have participated in at Hyde”—is an opportunity to hear from and about a wide range of voices. International week is a time where the community reflects on the world beyond Hyde.
The 2015 International Week is a high mark in the school year as a community building tradition and, more importantly, acts as part of Hyde’s continued commitment and focus on bringing character culture and education to the broadest audience.