Each year since 1999, IC teachers and administrators travel to schools around the world participating in IC’s Exchange Teacher Program. The program provides opportunities for IC teachers to visit international schools and for teachers from those schools to visit IC. The purpose of the visits is to exchange educational ideas and practices and to gain a better cultural understanding of the host country. The visit usually includes classroom visits, meetings with teachers and administrators and participation in school activities. It is always fun to tour the area around the school and learn more about the country and its customs.
So far this year, four IC teachers and one administrator have participated in exchange visits. Ras Beirut Elementary teachers Layla Shatila and Nesrine Habib along with Ain Aar Lower Elementary instructor Joelle Abboud traveled to Jordan from February 8 to 12. They visited the Ahliyyah School for Girls to explore and exchange ideas about the PYP program there. All three IC teachers enjoyed visiting the school and the professional development opportunity their visit offered.
From February 6 to 10, Ras Beirut Elementary director Julia Kozak and PYP coordinator Rola Hajj Ismail traveled to Vietnam and visited Ho Chi Minh City School there. They were very enthusiastic about their visit, considering it to be a “rich professional learning and personally enjoyable experience”. In May, IC is looking forward to welcoming two of HCMC Elementary teachers and to making their experience here in Lebanon both professionally enriching and enjoyable. Ho Chi Minh City School is a new school to our program, and we look forward to their continuing participation in our Exchange Teacher Program.
The Teacher Exchange Program would not be complete without IC receiving visiting teachers as well. From March 6 to March 10, IC welcomed two secondary humanities teachers from Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Connecticut, USA. Ms. Eera Sharma is a Spanish teacher and Director of the Summer School session at Choate Rosemary. Mr. Philip Kojo Clarke is a French instructor there. Both were welcomed at our Secondary School where they visited a variety of subject classes (Spanish, French, English, Philosophy, Advisory, and TOK), spoke with fellow teachers and visited offices, including the Secondary School Director, College Counsellor, Guidance, Social Services, IB Coordinator and the LMC. Their evenings in Beirut were hosted by Middle School Mathematics instructor Lama Shihab and LMC Librarian Mariam Labban. During Teachers’ Day and while IC teachers were busy with In-Service, Eera and Philip took the opportunity to visit Lebanese historical sites in Beiteddine and in Deir al-Qamar.