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International teachers visit Big Sky High as part of State Dept. Program

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The University of Montana and Missoula County Public Schools hosted special guests this week.

Teachers from all around the world have been in the Garden City learning about education programs as part of a U.S State Department Program.

These teachers learned some new teaching techniques and had the opportunity to engage with other teachers and students here in Missoula.

In addition, they will take these skills back to their own classrooms around the world.

The program is called the Study of the United States Institute and it’s to help educators re-think their teaching strategies.

Teachers from all over the world, who specialize in all kinds of subjects, were in Missoula to do just that.

"We have a number of from Latin America. We have several from Africa. We have several from North Africa and in the Middle East. And several from East Asia and several from the pacific island,” said Pat O’Connor, Grad. Teaching Assistant, UM.

One of those educators is Juan Carlos from Nicaragua.

It's his first time in the United States for the program and he couldn't be happier about his experience in Big Sky Country at Big Sky High.

"This school is fantastic, the Big Sky High School, it's amazing," Carlos said. "What teachers are doing with the students is great. Making them more creating poems, creating their own books, their own text to help the students is fantastic."

Educators like Carlos will take what they like in the classrooms in America and incorporate those ideas into their own classrooms at home.

"Everything. I want to take everything," Carlos said. "All the opportunities to learn how to develop the different kind of curriculum and create something similar in the different places we have in our countries."

To do that, the educators spent six weeks learning from American educators and students.

From workshops to seminars and classroom observations, Missoula teachers hope to provide the international educators with the tools they need to succeed.

"For example we bring students to Big Sky High School and they're able to observe classrooms in process, students in the process of learning. Then we also have trips where they can study important part of America life firsthand,” said O’Conner.

The learning doesn't end in the classroom for the international educators. They will also get the chance to explore national parks in Montana and learn about American culture and society.

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