Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Building Sister School Partnership


After the back-and-forth with my Korean counterparts, I made a significant breakthrough in promoting international education at MY school. By building our very first sister school partnership, the journey to inbound and outbound exchange just turned a new leaf. The timing also couldn't have been better because we just celebrated the school's 50th birthday. 

The Signing of the MOU

Kyungpook National University’s Middle School at Daegu, Korea will form a memorandum of understanding with my school, Taichung Municipal Kuang-Ming Junior High School, this February. A delegation from our sister school, including the principal and my counterparts, will pay an official visit to Kuang Ming and sign the MOU that day.  

A School Visit from the Sister School

The MOU mandates mutual benefit for both schools, including student and teacher exchange each year and joint learning activities. Twenty Korean students, along with their principal and teachers, will have a school visit to KMJH this October. Two-night homestay and one-day joint classes are already in discussion.

My Korean counterpart and I were discussing the possibility of future collaborations before their visit, such as Skype sessions, Postcrossing, and the  Teddy Bear Project. Meanwhile, I've talked about some potential projects to work on with some colleagues, and they all pleasantly expressed their interest in making it happen.

It was meant to be

The education exchange trip to Daegu, Korea last May was indeed a blessing in disguise. In retrospect, it connected with the Daegu Metropolitan Office of Education that introduced this Korean middle school to work with for more international projects and outbound exchanges. I've enjoyed corresponding with my partners since last November. Moreover, I'm also looking forward to meeting them in person when taking a family trip to Korea this coming winter vacation.  

An Uphill Journey to International Education

I dedicated so much to the International School Award back in 2015 and won the trophy. My ambition was to win another bragging right for my school that would help attract more students to enroll, but I was wrong due to the lack of support from those who had the authority to make big decisions.  

However, I continued with what I love against all the odds. Skype sessions with Japanese and Korean schools engaged more of my colleagues and their students. The Canadian AIESEC volunteer's three school visits and numerous video calls with the gifted duo were unparalleled. Last but not least, the Japanese professors' class participation and Korean students' visit both expanded my horizons.

The only class that I got to do international education was removed from my schedule this semester. I got caught up because of it for quite a while, feeling unappreciated disappointed. Nonetheless, the sister school partnership is taking shape, and I'm confident it would open up so many opportunities like never before.

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