Chinese Principals Visit Sturgis West (Fall 2012)

Chinese Principals Visit Sturgis WestNovember 13, 2012

Chinese Principals Visit Sturgis West
November 13, 2012

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Cameron Bass

Twenty-two principals from China visited Sturgis West on Tuesday, November 13 as part of the Brown University Graduate School of Education Study Tour of exemplary schools in New England. This is the second time Brown University has selected Sturgis to be part of the tour. Last October, Sturgis East hosted a visit from 23 Chinese middle and high school teachers. One goal of these visits is to explore the differences between American and Chinese public education. Chinese educators are interested in learning more about innovative teaching methods and student success in K-12 U.S. schools.

The agenda for this year’s visit included:

  • An orientation to charter schools and Sturgis with Eric Hieser, Peter Steedman, and Patricia Marcel

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    Eric Hieser

  • Observation of classes in IB Higher Level History, IB Theory of Knowledge, IB Math Studies, IB Higher Level Math, IB Higher Level English, IB Standard level Biology
  • Q & A session with seven teachers: John Newcombe, Eric Hillebrand, Anna Botsford, Geneva Robinson, Jessica Lynch, Gina Kelly, & Carla Aiello
  • Q & A session with eleven students: Ethan Bailey, Cameron Bass, Sand Jamnie Butter, Amanda Carreiro, Jacob Chagnon, Sarah Correia, Noah Detmongkhonh, Scott Glynn, Gabrielle Healy, Kit Palmer and Althea Turley
  • Q & A session with Peter Steedman, Jenn Kirk, and Julie Carman about school leadership, teacher evaluation, etc.
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Gabrielle Healy

All Q & A sessions were moderated by a translator. During the session with students, the principals asked why some of them have chosen to travel long distances (Falmouth, Plymouth, Wareham)  to attend Sturgis and what they like about the school. Here are a few of the responses:

“I like the small school community where everyone knows each other. It feels like we are all friends and family.”

“Some of us came because we wanted to have an international experience and this was a great opportunity.”

“I like the comfortable environment, the feeling of safety, trust and mutual respect.”

“I came because I wanted to be challenged.”

They asked one student, Noah Detmongkhonh, a junior at West, how he felt leaving behind his 8th grade friends to come to Sturgis.  Without skipping a beat, he responded: “We left our friends, but we found our family.”

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Noah Detmongkhonh

At the end of the day, the visitors commented on the very strong bonds of mutual respect that Sturgis students have with faculty. Sturgis students and faculty greatly appreciated the opportunity to interact with our visitors from the other side of the globe. Peter Steedman thanked them for visiting and said, “This is a very special opportunity for our students. Having this experience is something they will never forget.”

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