Always Learning: Educators, Government Officials, and Leaders from Around the World Visit Hillbrook
By Ilsa Dohmen, Director of Teaching & Learning at Hillbrook
This year, educators from around the world continued to reach out to Hillbrook School seeking to visit our campus. During this school year alone, we hosted over 70 teachers, administrators, government officials, city planners, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders from across New Zealand, China, Taiwan, Singapore, and Kazakhstan. Their requests tend to come by recommendation from a colleague who has visited us already, and often are directed to one of our more outward-facing centers, like our department of technology, Center for Teaching Excellence, or the Scott Center for Social Entrepreneurship.
These international visitors’ interests range from wanting to see a JK-8th grade school that has “successfully infused technology and computational thinking into the curriculum,” to “learning from a school with real plans for making a difference.” On each visit, our teachers, staff and administrators share strategic initiatives, project examples, and, of course, an in-depth tour of our campus, so visitors can experience Hillbrook’s teaching and learning for themselves.
These visits not only serve as moments of reflection and connection for us as educators, they also give us a glimpse into the commonalities of educational intentions, challenges and efforts around the world. Preparing for and hosting these visits is one of the ways that we not only share best practices in education but also develop them, by giving us moments throughout the year to reflect on what we are currently most excited about and where we are headed next.