NIS Elementary students celebrated International Education Day in a unique way.
Our Grade 2 teacher, Ms. Natasha Van Staden, led a project where several NIS teachers connected their students to students from around the world, to learn more about their different education systems and classes. She shared what inspired this activity: “The idea of this project was to connect kids globally, and it was absolutely amazing. Students had so many interesting questions about weather, classes, and our hobbies, and they also learned how to count in Thai. Afterward, they asked to reconnect again as they have made new friends today.”
Many of our enthusiastic teachers reached out to former colleagues to create this unique experience for the students. Ms. Leandra Williams, Grade 2 teacher, was also excited with the opportunity to connect to the students and teachers of her home country – South Africa. She said: “Students had fun and showed so much patience and curiosity. It was a great experience for students, as well as teachers!”
Our students from Grade 2 through to Grade 5 virtually connected to similar aged students in South Africa and Thailand. They proudly spoke about Nibras and shared details of their everyday life, the structure of their classes, and the projects they were working on. Teachers
encouraged them to share their favorite subjects and what they aspire to be when they grow up. Some students even learned how to greet each other in another language.
Students found many similarities and differences in their everyday life. They realized most of them have the same subjects in school and go to school in the morning hours. One of the Grade 2 students, Amir, shared what he learned in this project: “I like that their classroom was very neat and students were nice and polite. I also liked that they have two subjects that we don’t – history and dancing. I hope to talk to them again.”
Although the pandemic has impacted school life, students showed that their enthusiasm for meeting new people remains strong. Led by curiosity, they asked various questions about countries their peers are from, learning about weather and unique sights.
Sloane Philip, a teacher in Varee School in Chiang Mai, Thailand, enjoyed this project and said: “This is a great start, and I hope this project can grow into something more and even start a ‘pen pals’ program with our students.”
We are very proud of this project and truly hope it’s just the beginning of strong cooperation with schools around the world.. Ms. Althea Edmondson, Head of Elementary School at NIS, enjoyed listening to the students presenting their school and asking questions that showed their curiosity. She concluded: “A truly authentic experience where children from around the world connected virtually to understand what it means to be Globally Minded.”
Read more in media coverage of International Day of Education: