Xavier School’s Appreciation Day was held last September 27, 2013. It had a theme of social media and was entitled “#OOTD” which stands for “Our Official Thanksgiving Day.” Social media was chosen as the theme for the event because it is something that people of different ages and professions, such as teachers and students, have equal easy access to. The theme wanted to convey to the students that the connection they have with their teachers goes beyond the school year, and that they always have been and always will be there for them. The theme also wanted to show the teachers that the love, care, and appreciation of their students for them, like social networking, are not held within the confines of a classroom.
The Appreciation Day Committee (ADComm) is the student group in charge of the A-Day celebrations, and its members are divided into 5 subcommittees, namely: welcoming, programs, lunch, letters & souvenirs and I.T. Each subcommittee worked on different aspects of A-Day to ensure that the day would turn out perfect. For months, the members of the committee busied themselves with searching for worthy performers, reserving caterers, collecting letters and promoting A-Day, amongst many other tasks. The Committee also worked closely with Xavier’s Production Crew to produce props and decorations for the event. The members of the two committees labored for months to produce a truly amazing A-Day celebration.
The Appreciation Day festivities began the moment teachers entered through their routine morning gates where their students greeted them, “Happy A-Day ‘Cher!” Loud cheers paired with home-baked cookies accompanied teachers as they made their way to the faculty workroom. Right before entering, a screen outside projected delightful tweets from their students containing the hashtag “ThankYouCher.”
When the school bell rang at 7:30, teachers proceeded to their assigned classrooms. For the next hour, the teachers were given a chance to bond with their mentoring sections. The classes played games together, shared jokes and stories, and some students even put on performances in the classrooms.
After an hour, teachers were requested to assemble outside the faculty workroom. As they proceeded here, their students rushed to the High School Gym and prepared for the entrance of their teachers into the gym. A few minutes (and several photos & selfies) later, the teachers made their way down to the gym. As each teacher entered the gym, their names were announced by the emcee. Students were on their feet, cheering and applauding for their favorite teachers. Our dear teachers could barely contain their joy and surprise, and they smiled from ear to ear until they had found their seats.
Several student bands as well as a “Chinese boy band” rocked the stage during the gym program. They sang their hearts out in appreciation for all their teachers in the audience. Dance X brought the crowd to their feet as they brought their trademark dance style onto the stage. However, perhaps the funniest part of the program was the trivia game. Funny and interesting trivia about teachers were flashed on the big screen, and the crowd and some select students were given the chance to guess which teacher the trivia was about. These ranged from hilarious childhood stories, to strange habits, to amazing skills and talents. Students and teachers alike were laughing in disbelief at the amazing trivia about their teachers and peers.
The gym program was followed by a sumptuous lunch for our dear teachers at the Multipurpose Hall (MPH). The MPH had been transformed into a magnificent dining room, where the ceiling and stage were adorned with large emoji faces and social networking logos. Prod Crew’s outstanding work was truly embodied by the splendid decorations. The teachers were warmly welcomed by the hosts and seated by their respective student-waiters. Student-waiters were assigned one table each to ensure that all the teachers were taken care of. The hosts kicked off the feast, and the waiters began bringing out food. Throughout their meal, teachers were serenaded by student performers who played their acoustic renditions of some popular (and formerly popular) songs. The venue gave off such a relaxing ambiance with a touch of social media. All throughout, the photobooth was open for the teachers to capture the priceless smiles on their faces, together with the good company that they surely had during the day. The waiters even had a dance number which boosted the teachers’ excitement, leaving them laughing and filled with joy.
The luncheon took a more serious tone for a moment as each teacher was handed a small tote bag at the end of their meal. For the past few weeks, students had been writing letters to their teachers. These letters were collected by the ADComm and placed inside a small tote bag labelled “#OOTD.” The MPH went silent as all the teachers opened their bags and began reading through all their letters. The teachers hung wide grins upon their faces as they went through the contents of the bag, and occasionally, a teacher would burst into laughter (or tears) while reading a particularly special letter. The tote bag also served as a reminder to the teachers—while Appreciation Day may come only once a year, their students’ love and appreciation for them will last all 365 days of a year, every year of our lives.
“A teacher is like a candle, it consumes itself to give light to others.”