Bright and early this morning, we bid a fond farewell to 24 primary school principals from Jiangsu Province in China who have been visiting North Carolina to learn about the U.S. education system. CIU coordinated and hosted the visit, helping to build lasting international bonds among students, teacher and principals.
Since 2008 the N.C. State Board of Education has had a Memorandum of Understanding with education leaders in Jiangsu Province to increase educational exchange efforts for students and education leaders from that province in the State of North Carolina. Hosting the group of Chinese principals was a continuation of CIU’s role coordinating educational efforts outlined in the MOU.
“This week was just great,” said CIU China Partnership Coordinator Brian White. “Interaction with the visiting principals was as beneficial for North Carolina principals, teachers and students as it was for the Chinese delegation. They all learned from each other.”
Brian led the delegation on visits to six North Carolina elementary and middle schools to explore various administrative models: magnet, private, charter and traditional schools. They visited schools in the Triangle region as well as Avery County in the mountains.
Spending time with fourth graders enrolled in Glenwood Elementary School’s Chinese immersion program was a highlight of the week, according to Brian. Students had prepared questions for their visitors and were able to have conversations in small groups with Jiangsu Province principals, in Chinese.
POST CARD FROM DURHAM: “The people who matter the most are the teachers.”
Durham Academy Lower School was another stop on the tour of North Carolina schools. In answer to a question from a curious Jiangsu principal about school leadership, Head of School Michael Ulku-Steiner said the following: “The people who matter the most are the teachers. That’s what makes the difference. Find the best teachers and let them do their magic, let them do their best work.”
CIU promotes Chinese language learning in North Carolina schools through its network of Confucius Classrooms. It also launches and supports school-to-school partnership activities that introducing North Carolina K-12 students and teachers to global experiences and the chance to work in multi-national, multi-cultural teams — skills needed to succeed in a dynamic, increasingly interconnected world.