American and Chinese Educators Exchange Ideas

Earlier this year Chinese educators invited American educators to conduct an in-service training session for teachers in the Yuhang School District in Hangzhou, China.

Lon Gruesbeck, Washington International Student Experience (WISE) director, and David Morgan, Blue Mountain Academy (Hamburg, Pa.) principal, co-presented this teacher in-service Sept. 22–26.

“This was a fantastic opportunity and an honor to be able to share with colleagues in another country,” says Gruesbeck.

Gruesbeck and Morgan presented practical, hands-on training to more than 200 elementary, middle and high school teachers on topics such as “Moving Students Outside the Box” and “The Soul of Education … Mindset, Attitudes and Methods.” The presentations included short videos and PowerPoint presentations. Eighty-five high school students also joined the training.

“We discovered that students and teachers in China are very much like students and teachers here in America,” says Gruesbeck. “Teachers in China have some of the same desires and passions for their students as American teachers. The challenge for teachers in China is they are not allowed to get out of the proverbial box. One teacher even stated, ‘How can we move our students outside the box when we ourselves are not allowed out of the box?’”

Four student ambassadors — Brenden Gay and Ashley Hunte from Blue Mountain Academy and Paris Altman and Connor Hubin from Auburn Adventist Academy — participated in an education exchange.

The students lived in homes with students their own age and attended classes with their host students at Yuhang No. 2 High School.

“Our students had a wonderful learning experience,” says Gruesbeck, “and so many opportunities to share with their fellow students in China.”

Featured in: December 2014