Nagoya International School

Head of School Weekly Notes

Learning as Peers

The days in which the teacher is the only one doing the teaching are long gone. Of course, great schools need great teachers, and that will never change. But there is something very powerful about learning from peers – not only for those doing the learning but also for the growth and development of those doing the teaching. On Wednesday of this week, as a part of the International Mother Language Day (see HERE), NIS enjoyed a celebration of language and culture with students teaching each other elements of their home languages. And with that, they could also have a window on the many cultures that form our school. In another event on Wednesday, our Grade 10 and 11 homeroom teams combined, and the Grade 11 students answered questions that the Grade 10s had about the IB Diploma courses. Grade 10 students are currently in the daunting process of selecting what they will study over the next two years. The teachers had already explained the various course options, but there is something meaningful and real about learning from a peer – someone like you – living and experiencing the journey. Peer support was happening in our parent community this week, too, as the series of online conversations and classes organized by our Parent Partner PTA brought parents together in dialogue, learning, and support.

At NIS, we are honored to work with some amazing colleagues; we have textbook authors, IB examiners, CIS team evaluators, IB workshop leaders, and more. However, we should never forget or underestimate the power of peer-to-peer learning and dialogue and the wonderful results that come when staff, students, and parents collaborate on our community's learning and well-being.

- Matthew Parr, Head of School