British teachers visit Delaware schools to learn how teachers are educating students in the First State.
11 teachers from Durham, England are spending the week in Sussex County, Delaware as part of a professional development program.
The program is part of the British Council’s program to encourage the exchange of ideas between professionals worldwide. One of the British leaders, David Etheridge says, “This is part of a program that the British Council organizes every year across a great number of nations to allow opportunities for teacher professionals to discuss things with each other and come to better solutions and make a better world for young people.”
Etheridge says the group was very impressed by the school facilities in Sussex. He says they were also surprised to see the confidence of the students. “The students we’ve seen in school are so confident compared to many of our students back at home. They have adult teachers coming in from the UK, we’re having very adult conversations with the students.” He says the students weren’t phased by the presence of the British group, “They’re proud of their schools, they’re proud of the town. Very different in some ways to some of our youngsters at home.”
He says while school leaders and students in England deal with a lot of the same problems as their American counterparts, there are some differences in the two countries education systems. Etheridge says the local connection teachers and school leaders have to the community is stronger in America than in England. That’s because education in England is primarily funded by the central government, instead of by local school districts. “Because those taxes are on local people, the schools have to respond to the needs and demands of local people.” He says it makes for a very different relationship between school leaders and parents.