An assistant teacher interacts with her pupils at St. Joseph Primary School.
PHILIPSBURG–Foundation Catholic Education St. Maarten and Gustavus Adolphus College of Minnesota engaged in a successful educational collaboration in January.
Seventeen classes were supported during the month of January by visiting Gustavus student-teachers at the primary level, who functioned as classroom assistant teachers at St. Joseph School, St. Dominic Primary School and Sister Marie Laurence School, the foundation said in a press release on Monday.
Two other Gustavus classroom assistant teachers worked at St. Dominic High School in the areas of art and English. Four students did their student-teaching towards licensing at St. Dominic High for the subjects maths and English. One student did his student teaching towards certification in the subject physical education at Sister Marie Laurence School, St. Dominic Primary School, Sister Magda Primary School and St. Dominic High School.
“This first endeavour for our collaboration was deemed a roaring success. The response towards the project has been tremendously positive. The teachers in the primary schools received support on a daily basis, all day long, from the Gustavus students in the function as classroom assistants. They were very appreciative of this assistance,” the foundation said.
The visiting Minnesota students expressed how thankful they are for being afforded this experience. They have gained a variety of strategies which they can use in the future. They also enjoyed the students’ spontaneity, openness and show of kindness and love. That children will spontaneously give a hug to a teacher is something not done where they come from.
The art student, who is a fourth generation artist in her family, operated between the primary schools and St. Dominic High School, sharing ideas for art integration in the curriculum at the primary level, while at the same time supporting the art students in Forms 4 and 5 in their thought process.
“All teachers benefited from a professional development session on the topic ‘Teacher Reflection is Key’. Teachers focused on the importance of reflecting, while exploring various ways to reflect. The importance of having students reflect to gain insight into their own learning and work product was also emphasised,” the foundation said.
“The visiting students and their professors further enjoyed this beautiful and friendly island through various interactions, visiting sights and nature spots,” it added.
According to Lisa Dembouski, “Words do not adequately express our gratitude and joy at this collaboration, the generosity and kindness of our St. Maarten hosts, and the overwhelmingly positive experiences we all enjoyed. We cannot wait for our next time we’ll be here and continue this outstanding partnership between Minnesota and St. Maarten.”
Foundation Catholic Education St. Maarten looks forward to welcoming the next group from the Education Department of Gustavus College, Minnesota, in January 2022.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/catholic-school-board-exchange-programme-in-january-a-success