Tracy and AllenA pair of teachers from China visited Saint Viator this week to observe American teaching styles and curriculum, and they were surprised at the response they received.

“The teachers and students are very friendly and kind,” said Ms. Yu Ling, an English and humanities teacher. “They see us in the halls and ask if they can help. We feel like superstars.”

Ms. Ling and Mr. Hang Yu Zheng teach at Summit International School, a private school in Chengdu, which is the capital city of the Sichuan Province. In all, they are visiting three American schools to compare methods and scout out potential schools for their students to study abroad.

“I tell my students if you have the chance to come to America, you should,” Mr. Zheng said.

After two days, their observations ran the gamut. Mr. Zheng, who teaches math in China, noticed how much Saint Viator students use their calculators in all levels of mathematics.

“Our teachers do not let students use a calculator since the calculator influences the calculating ability,” Mr. Zheng said. “But when I go back, I will talk about this with our teachers.”

Ms. Ling was delighted to see a pair of programs in English and history classes, that she uses with her students, including Quizlet and Kahoot.

“No matter how old or experienced students are, they still like (learning) games and competition,” Ms. Ling said.

Overall, the Chinese educators said they were impressed with Saint Viator’s students and learning environment.

“In our school, I am the teacher and my students are the audience,” Mr. Zheng said. “Here, it’s more open and active. Students can ask questions and participate.”

Mrs. Rose Ruffatto, who coordinates Saint Viator’s international program, arranged their daily schedule so that they could visit a variety of classes, at different levels, and most included Chinese students in them.

“Our international program has grown over the past few years,” Mrs. Ruffatto said, “so our students are very welcoming and accepting of our international students.

“Meeting these Chinese teachers gives us the opportunity to understand a little more of the education system and culture,” she added, “where some of our current international students come from.”