Teachers in the US generally don’t step outside our classrooms, even though it would be nice to take an occasional bathroom break, grab some materials, or have a quick one-to-one with a student in the hall. Without the watchful eye of the teacher, we fear that our classrooms would devolve into chaos. But at Bhassara School in Nepal, the teachers feel confident leaving the students to manage themselves if need be – a class captain monitors the group while students quietly work on their exercises. According to Erica, an American teacher visiting Bhassara through the TIEs program, “The amount of trust that the staff puts in the students is really special.”

Erica says she has been very impressed by the autonomy that students have here. The morning assemblies are student-led. The kids are part of a committee to plan and run school events. In her view, these things create a school-wide culture of trust and leadership.

In the US, it can be scary for us to give students this kind of independence. But Erica sees how it benefits students: “They rise to the challenge and I think that it allows a lot of character strengths to develop: leadership skills, event-planning, the ability to collaborate with a committee, critical thinking skills.”

Erica is excited to bring this concept to her own classes in the U.S., saying “I definitely want to carry with me the idea of taking a deep breath, letting go of some of that control, and trusting that the students can do incredible things on their own.”

Perhaps when it comes to micro-managing our students, we should consider the words of the movie Frozen, and “Let It Go.”

Follow our blog to hear about more lessons learned abroad in the TIEs summer program!


Written by Timothy Kobus, Founder/Director – TIEs with Teachers

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