I spent four years of my childhood, the ones between six and ten, in Chile as my father is an astronomer. I attended a school that was the fairly new, a school founded by two American astronomer families and one Chilean family in 1976. If you are interested in the history of the school, you can read more about it here. We came to la Serena in 1979, and then the school was still quite small. This New Years´I travelled to Chile with my husband, my mother and my children to show them where I grew up. We spent time in the capital, Santiago, but we also visited my old hometown La Serena. I had booked an appointment there with my former two teachers. One is now the head master and the other one is in charge of the younger pupils, the ones from 3 - 5.
Since my times at school it has grown a lot and has changed locations twice, and I´m proud to say that I have seen all three schools. When I got there they had there long combined summer/Christmas vacations and the school had no pupils running around. It would have been nice to talk to the pupils, of course, but it was also nice to visit a school at a calm moment. We talked for hours about similarities and differences between school then and now, and also compared life as a teacher and a pupil in Chile and Sweden. It was fantastic and inspiring to be there as a teacher who now works a lot with globalization issues to be back in the school where my interest for the world and different languages started. I felt very welcome and it was very nice for all of us to remember the way the school had started, the ideas that were, and still are important, and to feel proud about the way the school has developed.
The International school now has pupils from 3-18 and the spoken language at school is, and always has been, English. Only Castellano, or Spanish, and Chilean History are given in Spanish. The teachers are very engaged in there pupils and the school has a list of pupils that want to go there, but that they don´t have room for. This despite the fact that it in no way is cheap to attend to the school.
Even if we spoke a lot of memories, mostly we talked about possibilities for cooperation. Our school has quite some experience in working with schools in other countries, and we came up with a lot of ideas together. It is a huge benefit that all classrooms have Smartboards, and it will be easy to start simple with some Mystery Skypes in the classrooms.
I went from school filled with new ideas and have great hope that we will collaborate in many ways in the nearby future!