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MMS has visitor from China

An exchange of ideas is the basis for a visit this week to Monroe Middle School from a vice principal from China.

Vice Principal Yan Zhenyu from Shi Bei Experimental Junior Middle School Changzhou, China, was honored at a reception at Monroe Middle School Monday, April 28, 2007. Monroe Middle became a sister school to the Chinese middle school this past October when Monroe Middle Principal Montrio Belton visited China.
“When you take away the ocean, we really are more alike than we are different,” Belton said during the reception. “It is so important for us to link our students with other students internationally.”
Yan Zhenyu said one of his goals in coming to Monroe Middle is to find a way to make teaching English at his school in China more fun.
“American students have better creative thinking skills and learn things in more fun ways,” he said through an interpreter, Marvin Ridge High School Chinese teacher, Haiye Wang. “I want to learn how to make our learning more fun and interesting in China. Our students have their own strengths, such as in Math and Science. We need to learn from each other.”
Yan Zhenyu said this is the first time his school has partnered internationally with another school, and he is excited to visit his sister school.
Donna Podgorny, K-12 Second Language Curriculum Coordinator, who has also traveled to China, spoke during the reception. “In China, children start learning English in grade three,” she said. “In 2007, we began our first class of Chinese in Union County. On the university level, 63,000 Chinese students came to study in our university in 2005, while 9,000 of our U.S. students went to study in China.”
Podgorny said the United States and China have futures that are intertwined. “It is up to us to figure out what that means in this century. My best wishes to our guest, Mr. Yan Zhenyu, and to Mr. Belton, as they take steps forward for their schools on either side of the globe.”
UCPS Superintendent Dr. Ed Davis said it is an exciting opportunity for Monroe Middle School to partner with a sister school in China. “Our world is changing so quickly, we have to recognize it certainly goes beyond Union County, beyond North Carolina and even beyond the United States. We are all on this planet together and have to work together. Anytime we can foster international understanding, international relations, as well as give our students the opportunity to expand their horizons, it’s a wonderful opportunity.”
Belton said he is most excited about Zhenyu meeting Monroe Middle students and seeing the similarities between students. “I’m very interested in showing Mr. Zhenyu how we engage American students in the learning process, not only to promote a mastery of content, but also to promote creative skills and higher order thinking.”

Written by: Deb Coates Bledsoe, Publications Coordinator
Posted: May 01, 2008 by Deb Coates Bledsoe

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