International Day: Just What the World Needs

I’m a crier. I get teary when I see a father holding his child’s hand on the way to school. I choke up reading Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree to my students. I can’t read A Hundred Dresses or Crow Boy without holding back tears, either. Heck, I get weepy when I watch the first aid training video at work and the dummy needs CPR. Last week, I was reading a sentimental picture book to my third graders when one called out, “Mr. Done, why aren’t you crying yet?”

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Every year at my elementary school, there’s one event where I’m wipin’ my eyes: International Day. On this special day, all the pre-schoolers through fifth graders sit down and share a meal together. Many wear the colors and costumes from their home countries. At the end of the day, the children parade through the hallways with flags and music. Finally, we pack together in the gym to share dances and songs. The little ones sit on teachers’ laps; some hold hands. By this time, I’m usually blubbering. What the world needs is more International Days. Imagine how different things would be if we spent more time with one another sharing a meal, a dance, and a song. Just imagine.

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All photos by Paul Corfield with permissions

12 thoughts on “International Day: Just What the World Needs

  1. I remember someone bringing root beer and the non-Americans wonder why we would drink the stuff (Though, I’m not a huge fan of root beer either.)

    • Haha that was me. :) I even had one worried parent ask me if there was real “beer” in it. I felt bad for not realizing sooner how in an international community language barriers can cause us to take things so literally.

  2. WOW….this whole article and the pictures even made me to tear up! Nice to see all of the children from all over the world united! Beautiful kids, nice food spread! :-)

  3. I remember the first time a teacher asked me to read to her class. It was a story about an old man, an old woman, and a cat. After the old woman died, the old man took in the cat, and I was totally overcome. I also love the photos. Children are so beautiful, but I never realized it when I was a child. There is no makeup like youth.

  4. There is nothing as beautiful as a child’s face. Thank you for sharing the great photos of kids from all cultures. So loved the diversity of Cumberland School and can see your current school adventure is the same. Lucky you!! Hugs, Ardis

  5. Great photos, Mr. Done! I’ll admit, I teared up too. What a beautiful day seeing everyone united and celebrating together. The heart can’t help being touched in moments like that.

  6. Mr. Done,
    I just finished my student teaching in December, 2013 and now have my bachelor’s degree in childhood education. This may not seem like a major deal to many people however I am 56 years old and have always wanted to be a school teacher.
    The photos and the message here is wonderful. I do not have a classroom of my own yet but hope to some day soon. I have considered the possibility of teaching outside of the U.S. I lived in Germany for three years many, many years ago when I was in the U.S. Air Force.
    Thank you so much for sharing your world with your fans.

    Sincerely,
    Victoria

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