Last month I shared with you that aha! Process would be hosting a group of educators from the United Kingdom, specifically Reading, England, who had been selected to come to Texas to observe the American education system and some of our best practices, including aha! Process strategies and work. What an incredible week we had! We visited schools in Barbers Hill ISD, Pearland ISD, Huntsville ISD, and Spring Branch ISD (Valley Oaks Elementary). Each of the sites went “above and beyond” in their planning for these visits. Texas hospitality was at its finest!
We believe this is just the start of professional relationships with educators abroad. The visitors exchanged e-mails and made arrangements for students to become “e-mail pals” (if that is the appropriate term now). One teacher has already inquired about the possibility of an exchange with an educator from Reading. So many positive comments were heard throughout the week from the group, which included a literacy specialist, special educators, an inclusion teacher, general educators, a deputy head for early learning, an economics and business teacher, a music teacher, and a director for school improvement and inclusion.
Some of their “aha! moments” included outstanding instruction and high expectations, length of the school day, consistency among practices and procedures, relationships, commitment to every student and not giving up on a single student, facilities, and more. In addition, they were able to see aha! Process strategies like mental models, step sheets, and vocabulary development actually being used in classrooms, which will provide a new perspective as they train further on Ruby’s work.
American educators throughout the week expressed a desire to go to Reading to learn from these teachers. Isn’t it amazing what can happen when we open our doors to share with one another!
If you have questions or would like to know more, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. A more complete article on the visit will appear in our March newsletter.