Brimmer Faculty Demonstrate Teaching Methods in China
Lower School teachers Kate Pappas (2nd grade), Janet Sweezey (3rd grade), and Sarah Abrams (Librarian), as well as Co-Director of International Students Helen Du traveled to the Dapeng New School District in Shenzhen, China, in March, to exchange ideas, teaching styles, and educational philosophies with Chinese educators. The Chinese educators were extremely welcoming and hospitable. Brimmer faculty members toured the lower and middle school in the district and observed lessons taught by Dapeng teachers. Ms. Pappas, Ms. Sweezey, and Ms. Abrams also taught lessons to Chinese students while the Chinese educators observed. Both the Brimmer and Dapeng teachers were able to view modern teaching styles and lessons from exemplary schools of their respective countries firsthand. Brimmer teachers also shared with the Chinese educators their typical work schedule and educational philosophies.
Ms. Pappas, Ms. Sweezey, and Ms. Abrams each offered two classes in math, social studies, STEAM, and library research. Ms. Abrams did a presentation on Providing Children with Tools for Success; Ms. Sweezey presented on Cross-Curricular, Collaboration and Creative Approach to Teaching; Ms. Abrams presented on the purpose of school library: Literacy, research/information and development; and Mrs. Du gave a speech on Creating and Building a Model School, focusing on our mission, life rules, and 21st century skills.
Helen Du shares, “It was a wonderful experience working with the Shenzhen education bureau, principles, deans, teachers, and students. Every day, we were engaged in teaching classes, doing presentations, and sharing and exchanging our experience and ideas. We had a wonderful team and were able to demonstrate our collaborative working spirit. On the final day of presentation, Brimmer faculty used the Critical Friends Group (CFG) method to discuss ideal classrooms and schools, challenges and obstacles, and action plans for success. Brimmer’s model is well received, and it was a transforming experience for us all. Of course, we have also observed Chinese teaching and have learned much through dialogue and exchange.”