By Amanda Amsel
A local high school is making a lasting impact overseas with an international program for teachers and students.
Bishop Ready High School is partnering with its sister school Jinling High School in Nanjing, China to have teachers and students travel overseas to learn from each other’s culture and academics.
Jinling High School teacher Dan Dan Chen is currently visiting Bishop Ready High School during the first six-week exchange program.
“I am very excited to be here and am grateful for this chance,” she said. “I can’t wait to learn new skills that will help me improve as a teacher.”
An AP calculus and pre-calculus teacher, Dan Dan Chen prepares Chinese students for college in America, so this opportunity is crucial to her teaching career. However, she has had some trouble adjusting to the American education system because it is very different than the Chinese education system.
“In China, students study to pass tests. Here, learning is fun,” Chen said. “Here you can decide what you want to be; in China others decide for you.”
According to Chen because there are so many people in China, not everyone can attend college. Students are chosen by universities based on their standardized test score.
“Being a teacher you don’t just want to train kids to pass a test,” Chen said. “You want them to develop problem solving skills, not just memorize information.”
While here Chen has been staying with the Moore family, whose son attends Bishop Ready.
“We have always been interested in learning about others cultures and when we heard about this opportunity it seemed like the perfect fit,” said Sam Moore, the father of the host family.
“We have really enjoyed having Dan Dan here and have learned a lot from each other and also learned we are not so different.”
Chen has also had a chance to learn a little about life in Columbus as well. She has attended a Blue Jackets game, explored Clintonville where the Moore’s live and even visited The Ohio State University.
“A lot of my former students attend Ohio State, so I got to visit the campus,” Chen said. “The campus was amazing and it was great to see my former students.”
Chen hopes to stay in contact with the friends she has made here and hopes that Bishop Ready High School teachers and students will come visit her campus in the future.
Bishop Ready is open to the idea and is considering a program that would let teachers and students travel to Jingling High School for a short period.
While, Chen misses home, she loves America and wishes she could stay longer.
“I like everything about America, even the snow,” she said. “I will remember this experience forever and am grateful for my experiences here.”
For more information on the Bishop Ready teacher exchange, visit www.brhs.org.