TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- A delegation of teachers, principals and administrators from the most populated nation on Earth toured Westchester's Pocantico Hills School District to learn more about the American educational system in a visit on Monday, Oct. 20.
The Pocantico Hills students responded to the impromptu visits with smiles and questions about their guests, but continued their regular lessons throughout the two-hour tour.
School Superintendent Valencia Douglas, Principal Stan Steele and Interim Principal Adam Brown led two separate tours of the school as more than a dozen inquisitive Chinese educators looked in on classes, met teachers and students, and visited every part of the school from the cafeteria to the science labs.
“We were very pleased to have our friends from China visit Pocantico Hills,” said Douglas. “Teachers, administrators and educators have the common goal of doing the best we can to teach our children in a changing world.”
The visitors seemed most interested in curriculum, students participation, facilities and balance of studies -- from the importance of language arts, math and science to the inclusion of the arts and other minor subjects in curricula.
Educational Consultant Rosemary Uzzo of Yonkers arranged the tour for the educators, who came from several large and small cities throughout China. Uzzo has worked writing math text books in the China. She was joined by a Chinese and a Taiwanese interpreters, who helped keep the communication going between the Chinese and their Pocantico hosts.
As the morning moved toward noon, the two groups finished their tours and met for tea, coffee, cookies and an exchange of ideas about their respective challenges in educating children in a new era of technology.
The Chinese representatives then presented their hosts with abacuses, a painting and other tokens of appreciation.
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