Finding Inspiration in a Foreign Nation
July 6, 2016
“Thank you miss for teaching us!”
Students at Bhassara School in Laltipur, Nepal, stand and say this in unison at the end of every class period. According to Amy, an American teacher visiting Bhassara though the TIEs program, the students’ joy of learning here is “undeniable.” She sees it in the way the students greet the teachers with hugs and enthusiasm, in the respect they show in the classroom, and in the gentleness with which the older students interact with the younger ones.
While much of this respect for learning may be culturally-rooted, Bhassara has certainly put things in place to foster such a positive learning environment: they begin mornings with student-led assemblies, their curriculum features a character education course, and they have a schoolwide meditation session every Friday to get students calm and ready to learn.
Can you imagine how good it would feel to teach in this kind of setting? For Amy, a teacher with 20 years experience, it is a source of renewed motivation: “I feel like the Nepali students show more respect, which in turn makes me feel very motivated to increase their engagement. It makes me want to work harder for them.”
In the US, a lot of teachers only dream of having a class like this. But perhaps the lessons learned here can be applied to US classrooms. “Maybe at home I need to re-invent myself,” Amy says. She is excited to try some of the same methods that Bhassara uses for building community in her own classroom.
Amy has found motivation and inspiration abroad. What would you find? TIEs would like to invite any teachers reading this to spend a summer visiting a foreign school. It just might recharge your teacher batteries!
Written by Timothy Kobus, Founder/Director – TIEs with Teachers
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