After months of preparation in their home countries, they arrived in Washington, DC on July 30 to begin their 10-day orientation workshop. This year the cohort consists of 19 Chinese teachers and 9 Arabic teachers, including 7 from Egypt and 2 from Morocco. The teachers are hosted at schools from 15 states plus the District of Columbia. Roughly half of the schools this year have hosted previous TCLP teachers while the other half are new to the program.
The orientation included workshops to prepare the teachers to effectively teach and motivate students in the U.S. including sessions on:
• lesson planning,
• instructional methods,
• assessment, and
• American English.
Participants also worked with experienced language teachers that functioned as pedagogical experts who modeled lessons and worked with student volunteers to help prepare the exchange teachers to work with American students. Despite the full schedule, teachers also had time to enjoy a tour of Washington, DC and cultural activities such as bowling, a museum excursion, and theater evening.
The host school representatives from across the country joined their exchange teachers in Washington DC from August 6-8 for their combined orientation. For some mentors, this was their first time visiting the nation’s capital. This portion of the orientation included a sight-seeing excursion and sessions on:
• cross-cultural communication,
• community outreach, and
• host school expectations.
The workshop for all exchange teachers and host school representatives concluded with a closing ceremony and dinner, with closing remarks given by the Branch Chief of the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program, Jennifer Gibson, from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. The closing ceremony highlighted the successes of the 2018-2019 cohort of teachers, who collectively taught over 7,250 students and established 10 new language programs; and looked ahead toward what this new group will seek to achieve during their exchange year.