Willkommen bei Penn Manor! (Welcome to PM in German)
Visiting German teachers were welcomed to Penn Manor High School in late October. They were surprised at how different our schools are, but were excited to be here.
Initially, the simple desire to see a high school in a different culture brought them here.
Two of the teachers explained that they “always wanted to see an American high school” and that this opportunity was too good to pass them by.
One particular individual was Ulrike Schroen. She visited librarian Sue Hostetter in 1976 and they’ve kept in touch ever since.
But regardless of the previous visit, when the rest of the teachers arrived at the building, they noticed a sundry amount of differences.
Where they were from, they explained “about 1,000 students and 50 teachers” attended, which made Penn Manor High School seem very large compared to what they’re used too.
The biggest hit? Our Sanders P. McComsey library. All agreed that it was very impressive.
Surrounded by laptops and computer stations and a large selection of books, they couldn’t believe the size of our library. At their school they said they have few “separate computers” and “a little library.”
Throughout the day, the German teachers were able to observe classrooms and explained their levels. We have honors, college prep, and career prep level courses all in the same building, but in Germany, their level classes are in completely separate buildings.
They questioned the number of students from career prep levels that go on to college here as well.
All of their students who are in career prep are college bound, contrary to those at Penn Manor High School.
In fact, they reported that all of their levels go to college because education is crucial in their culture.
Surprisingly the teachers were well equipped in their English speaking skills. They explained that “all (students) are required to learn English from third grade on.”
The teachers agreed the trip was worthwhile and the experience was one they will always remember.
“This is like a second home to us already,” said one.
They left Penn Manor humoring all who asked about their new cultural experience: “Your toilets are so nice-so clean.”
By Christa Charles