International

Dispatches

September 01, 2004 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

ENGLAND

Dogged Devotion: One of the hardest-working educators at Dronfield School in Sheffield has been recognized with an honorary life membership in Unison, the public employees’ union. Henry Fanshawe Smart, a member of the school’s behavior and learning support unit, whose main task is to provide a “charming, calming” presence, has been praised by administrators for improving student attendance and conduct, reports the Star. But his fellow teachers aren’t jealous: Henry is a 1-year-old Cavalier King Charles spaniel, purchased to boost student morale. “I hope this doesn’t mean he’ll be demanding extra-long walks and toilet breaks now that we can represent him!” said Unison officer Ravi Subramanian.


MEXICO

Old School: Albina Cruces Vasquez started teaching when she was just 15. Immaturity isn’t a problem, though—that was 86 years ago. At 101, Vasquez still teaches arithmetic and serves as principal of the elementary school she founded. She told the Washington Post that her classroom credo remains the same as it was in 1918: “Children respond when you talk to them, when you keep your promises, and when you respect them as human beings.” In an era when few women went to school, she obtained an extensive education and started Eduardo Novoa Elementary in a Mexico City seed warehouse in 1947. She credits her fitness and lucidity to a daily stretching regimen and boasts that a doctor recently mistook her for 75.


SINGAPORE

Game On: Worried that the nation’s children are becoming too soft, Singapore’s education ministry will implement a plan starting this year that motivates them to become more “rugged.” The number of students participating in sports has dropped by half over the past decade, and one principal told the Straits Times, “Teenagers are very sheltered today, and the risk-taking spirit is not as pronounced as it should be.” Officials hope that awarding more “co-curricular activity points,” which boost students’ chances of admittance to competitive universities, will help get children going. And though the kids may not win any gold medals, parents anticipate that the exercise will at least help “toughen their characters.”


NEW ZEALAND

Like, Whatever: In an effort to halt a slide toward verbal sloppiness and excessive informality, at least two New Zealand primary schools have instituted a zero-tolerance crackdown on slang in the classroom. The chief offenders: “yeah” and “yep.” Administrators at Point Chevalier School in central Auckland hope the reduction of “grunt culture” will help students shape up, both behaviorally and academically. Michelle Farquhar, whose two children attend Point Chevalier, told the Dominion Post that she is agreeable to the vernacular crackdown: “If they’re prepared to help, then yeah, yeah, I’m all for it.”

—David Carpman

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning
Budget & Finance Webinar Staffing Schools After ESSER: What School and District Leaders Need to Know
Join our newsroom for insights on investing in critical student support positions as pandemic funds expire.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How can districts build sustainable tutoring models before the money runs out?
District leaders, low on funds, must decide: broad support for all or deep interventions for few? Let's discuss maximizing tutoring resources.
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

International England Pushes for Cellphone Bans in Schools. Could the U.S. Be Next?
England is the latest country seeking to keep cellphones out of class.
3 min read
Tight crop photo of a student looking at their cellphone during class. The background is blurred, but shows students wearing uniforms.
E+
International Photos PHOTOS: Take a Round-the-World Tour of the Return to School
Here's what back to school looks like in classrooms around the globe.
1 min read
A teacher gives a lesson on the first day of school at a cadet lyceum in Kyiv, Ukraine on Sept. 4, 2023.
Young cadets sing the national anthem during a ceremony on the first day of school at a cadet lyceum in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Sept. 4, 2023.
Efrem Lukatsky/AP
International Opinion School Reform Is Tough All Over, Not Just in the U.S.
Even though some reforms produce evidence of student success, that often isn't enough to overcome political hurdles.
6 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
International In Their Own Words What a Teachers' Union Leader Saw in Ukraine
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten was in the country just after widespread air strikes from Russia.
4 min read
American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten prepares to cross the border into Ukraine on Oct. 10.
Randi Weingarten visited Ukraine on Oct. 10—the day Russian missiles slammed into Lviv, Kyiv, and other cities.
Courtesy of AFT