Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Visit to a School

I am so lucky to have met Ruti Hotzen, who is my hostess here with her husband Ehud. They picked us up at the airport and have fed us and given us a very comfortable place to stay and shown us around. We are seeing and learning so much.

Ruti is the country representative for iEARN which is an international organization connecting teachers from different countries who are doing projects. I learned yesterday that teachers (classrooms) first join a Learning Circle which is a collection of about 6 classrooms around the world that are interested in doing a certain project. iEARN has a list of over 200 projects that you can join and many of them are ongoing. Ruti told me about a project that she coordinates called "Talking Kites". The project was inspired by Janusz Korczak, who was a doctor who started orphanages in Poland and really cared for kids. His name links to books he wrote in case you want to learn more. It is much too long to describe here, but you can go to project on the iEARN site to learn more.

Today we took a very interesting trip to a unique school called Newe Shalom which means Oasis of Peace. In this school both Jewish and Arab children learn together. They learn each other's languages and play together and build friendships. It was a happy place. The picture above shows me sitting with Ruti near the rainbow, which is the entrance to the school. You could tell that the school has regular visitors because the students didn't even look up when we walked around and even stepped into their classrooms. Even Pink Floyd has visited the school and did a concert here which is remembered by this pyramid in honor of the occasion. Ruti is known there through the iEARN Talking Kites project and also because her grandson attends there!

At the school I saw artwork from recycled materials posted everywher
e, heard really nice recorder music in music class and even stopped into a classroom. The classrooms were small and had double desks. I didn't see any computers, but it is the end of the year and they are putting things away. There is a computer lab and Ruti said that they use them a lot.

Ruti lives in a small city or town called Herzliya (sounds like hurtzuleea) which is named after Theodore Hertzl who is the founder of Zionism, creation of a homeland for the Jewish people. I hope that Ruti or someone else will correct me in the comments if that is not correct. Here is a picture of the statue of Hertzl that you see when entering the town.

Well, that is enough for today... there is so much more I could say. I am looking forward to your comments and questions!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Janice, it's Ms. Kreul's reading class from Whitefish Bay, WI!

    We read about your exciting trip to Israel in class today and have these questions about the schools there:

    How many hours do students go to school?
    When does school start?
    What do they eat for lunch?
    How many students are in a class?
    Do they go on field trips?
    What do children play at recess?
    What are the biggest differences between the schools and US schools?

    Thanks for answering our questions :-)


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