Chinese Guest Teachers Experience New Horizons at Scott County High School


From left to right: Allan, Grace, Lily, and Megan

  On October 19, four guest teachers from northern China – Megan, an English teacher, Grace, a music teacher, Allan, a math teacher, and Lilly, a Chinese teacher – came to visit Scott County High School. Their trip was orchestrated with the purpose of learning about the American culture and educational system through Invitational Education. Invitational Education is an international organization that focuses on “the importance of internal knowledge in relation to external connections to the outside world and existing educational systems.” 


  The organization provided the teachers with three weeks in the States, to observe, ask questions, and communicate with everyone inside the school building. This was the first time in America for most of the teachers. During their stay, they lived with local host families, that both work and go to Scott County High School.


  All of the teachers are colleagues at an international school back in China. According to the teachers, their school in China is filled with advanced technology and modern classrooms, and the school environment seems to be quite similar to the one here at Scott County. 


  The foreign teachers do, however, notice some differences between the Chinese and American educational systems.  “American students are very free; they can do whatever they want, and choose whatever classes they want, but in China they have the compulsory lessons,” English teacher Megan explained. Chinese students have to take courses that reflect their grades, so unlike American students, they do not choose their classes. 


  She also noticed how the teachers here at Scott County seem to be more casual with their students. Whereas in China, teachers appear to behave on a more strict and professional basis. Chinese teachers also seem to quiz their students more often than in the States. Considering that Chinese students are in school from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., as well as having about three hours worth of homework, the difference in the amount of schoolwork is significant. 


  Chinese students do, however, not only deal with huge amounts of schoolwork, but also pressure. “Parents have such high expectations, so students are often too stressed out to cope” Megan said.  This might be due to China being one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Physical jobs are not as validated and accepted in China as academic jobs. This means that the competition for getting into universities that offer more prestigious academic degrees is huge. Because of this, Chinese students strive to be the best in their class. 


  Regardless of the distance from home, the teachers were not limited in their smiles and joy. They were all immensely grateful for the time they spent with everyone in Georgetown. Scott County High School provided them with the perfect opportunity to immerse themselves in a new world, much different than their own. As Megan stated, “I love America, it is very different from back home in China!”