VISITING TEACHERS BRING LANGUAGE AND CULTURE TO PBC SCHOOLS
In November 1999, the Florida Department of Education signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Ministry of Education of Spain to develop the Visiting Teacher Program. Since then, the School District of Palm Beach County has been recruiting visiting teachers from Spain for the Dual Language Two-Way Immersion programs.
Currently, more than 50 visiting teachers are working in programs throughout the School District. They are granted a visa for up to three years, and they love sharing their language and culture with District students and fellow instructors.
“Our visiting teachers must pass a rigorous background screening, and a thorough interview process in two languages, as well as an orientation both in Madrid and in Palm Beach County,” said Sandra Medrano-Arroyo, Manager in the Department of Multicultural Education. “We strive to bring the best teachers who can adapt to change and are willing to experience not only our educational system but our culture as well.”
The MOU with the Ministry of Education of Spain also offers opportunities for U.S. educators and administrators to spend summers in Spain learning about the culture and enhancing their Spanish language skills.
The District currently has 24 Dual Language schools, five of which are International Spanish Academies. They have virtual “sister schools” in Spain that they collaborate with on projects, supporting their efforts to make strong cultural connections.
Many Dual Language schools enjoy having the teachers on staff, as they can facilitate cultural awareness and help both Spanish and English speakers perfect their language abilities while learning content. Additionally, many of the visiting teachers coach soccer and have started flamenco dance clubs at their respective schools.
“We are truly privileged to be invited to recruit each year in Madrid to find the best of the best for our PBC students,” said Lisa Capra, a District Dual Language Program Planner.