Educators from China visit Jessamine County Schools

Published 3:35 pm Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A group of 15 educators from Hong Kong toured Jessamine County this past week as part of the International Alliance for Invitational Education — a not-for-profit group of educators and allied professionals throughout the world dedicated to the development of positive school, work, and home environments.

The group flew in over the weekend and met with Superintendent Kathy Fields, a member of the board of trustees for the IAIE, at the Bluegrass Airport. 

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“It’s definitely a privilege to be able to showcase our beautiful commonwealth and our amazing schools,” Fields said. 

The Jessamine County School System has fostered a working relationship with Hong Kong for several years, Fields said.

For the past four years, an exchange program has allowed educators to come and stay in Jessamine County with host families for two weeks.

However, this is the first year educators have come from Changchun, China. 

During their two week stay, the educators from United Experimental Middle School of AHSJU and Livon in Changchun and the Law Ting Pong Secondary School in Hong Kong, will tour Jessamine County Schools observing curriculum and classrooms. 

The group toured East Jessamine Middle, where they were pleasantly surprised by costumes worn by teachers and staff on Monday. East Middle and Red Oak Elementary put on a concert for the guests.

They also went to the Jessamine County Public Library, where they visited the Teen Library, the Children’s Library, the recording studio and the Creative Space that features a laser cutter, 3D printers and 3D scanners. 

Stevenson Andrew Michael, one of the teachers from Law Ting Pong Secondary School, said he really enjoyed what the library had to offer. 

He said the informal and fun atmosphere of the Teen Library seemed like a really good way to engage students to read. 

“I liked a lot about the library,” Michael said. “I just think it’s a fantastic space.” 

Before the educators return to China, they will also attend the International Alliance for Invitational Education 34th Annual World Conference that is being hosted by Jessamine County Schools.  

Educators from all over the world including Hong Kong, Mainland China, Australia, Mexico and Canada, are anticipated to attend the conference taking place Nov. 2 through 5 in Lexington. 

Several administrators and teachers from Jessamine County will be presenting at the conference, and five Jessamine County schools will receive the Inviting School Award, Fields said. 

“I always welcome the opportunity to showcase the great things going on here,” she said. 

Eventually, Fields said she would like to someday see teaching staff in Jessamine County go to China, but until then the cultures will have to meet here. 

“They’ll get a good taste of Kentucky while their here,” Fields said. “And they’re just delightful people.