October 21-24 IICS hosted a group of Nepalese teachers and social outreach pioneers as an extension of its Project Nepal. Project Nepal began as a Secondary School outreach trip and its annual success has allowed the program to grow to include a Teacher Training Trip for faculty as well.

During this visit to Istanbul, three teachers from different towns in rural Nepal (Jambu, Nargakot, and Bandipur) received inquiry-based teacher training and participated in classroom observations to help them learn creative techniques to infuse their own classrooms with the kind of energy IICS classrooms have.

Primary Principal, Angela Steinmann, who coordinated the Teacher Training says, “It was a challenge to accomodate the very different siutations they deal with in their respective schools. We had surveyed them before their arrival to understand the nature of their schools, size of their classrooms, nature of the facilities, priorities of the school/parent community, etc. Fortunately differentiation and personalized learning are an integral part of IICS and how we operate, so we tailored the teacher training to provide for a range of needs. In the process of providing professional development we also learned quite a lot.”

“Because this project has grown so organically from the efforts and enthusiasm of our students and staff members, the sense of ownership has fueled the project to levels that are now schoolwide,” says Jane Thompson, Head of School. Ms Thompson and her husband, Secondary School DP English, TOK, and Drama Teacher, will join the student trip this year in February.

“This visit by our Nepalese partners was an opportunity not only to share techniques with other communities, it was also an opportunity for our students to benefit from meeting some impressive changemakers. The Director of the Jane Goodall Institute Nepal and the Director of Himalayan Voluntourism spoke to Grades 7, 8, 9, and 10 individually and had discussions about identifying and following your passion and what it means to lead an authentic life,” Ms. Thompson noted.  “Meeting people not much older than themselves who have made the kinds of strides they have to improve the world helps our children understand that such things are within reach if that kind of global citizenry is the path they choose.”