Denise Kahler, Director of Communications     (785) 296-4876

 

June 30, 2014

For Immediate Release

 

Nine International Teachers will be Placed in Kansas Classrooms this Fall

 

TOPEKA – The Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) today announced that eight educators from Spain and one educator from China will begin teaching in Kansas classrooms this fall as part of its Visiting International Teachers (VIT) program.  

 

Started in 2001, Kansas’ VIT program allows certified teachers from Spain and China to teach in Kansas schools for a period of up to three years. Teachers are hired primarily to teach Spanish, Chinese, and English as a Second Language, but may teach other subjects such as art, math, science and elementary grades. Visiting teachers provide Kansas students the opportunity to learn languages from native speakers, as well as to learn about the world and other cultures. Seventy-eight international teachers have participated in Kansas’ program since its inception.

 

Topeka school district 501 will employee seven of the incoming teachers from Spain as the district works to expand its dual language program. Dual Language programs teach students literacy and content (academic subjects like math, science, English/language arts, reading, and social sciences) in two languages. Research suggests that the cognitive stimulus derived from receiving instruction in two languages can lead to enhanced creativity and analytical thinking. Schools in Topeka are experiencing a growing trend in parents placing their children in dual language programs because they value bilingual, bi-literate and bi-cultural skills.

 

As the coordinating agency for the VIT program, KSDE provides the following services:

 

§  Pre-screen and interview teacher candidates for prospective job openings.

§  Serve as “sponsor” for the U.S. J-1 (Exchange Visitor) visa.

§  Expedite the issuance of a “Visiting Teacher” certificate for teaching in the State of Kansas, including fingerprinting.

§  Provide orientation for all new teachers in the program, as they arrive one or two weeks prior to the beginning of the school year.

§  Provide orientation for the school district, a teacher mentor, and a community member who will ‘adopt’ the teacher and family for a year

§  Provide a weekend fall retreat for teachers in their first, second, and third years of the program.

§  Monitor and mentor teachers to help make the cultural adjustment to the U.S. and to Kansas classrooms.

§  Assist with curriculum development, state standards, and state testing.

§  Assist district administrators when difficulties arise.

 

To learn more about the Visiting International Teachers program visit http://tinyurl.com/VITKS or contact Program Coordinator and Responsible Officer Phyllis Farrar, pfarrar@ksde.org  

 

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