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German Schools Training

From April 27th through April 29th, 2022, I got the amazing chance to attend a training by the ZFA (Zentrale für Auslandsschulwesen). 

Every school in North America in the network sent one or two teachers to this training. These are staff that either were involved in an EDI (Equity Diversity Inclusion) group at their school or in progress of forming one with their team. Mr. Torsten Steiniger, Regional Process Facilitator for the German Foreign Schools Abroad in North America organized this training and welcomed us in Washington D.C. on our first day. He also introduced Nikola Poitzmann to us as the main lead throughout this training. 

During our training we analyzed what forms our own identity and what the “anti-bias" definition in connection with education is. We had the chance to talk to Joel Gunzburg, a counselor from a nearby private school. He showed us how our own biases can lead to intentional and unintentional discrimination, and that it is up to us how we act upon these. 

From there we looked closer into what it means to be privileged and how, through education in Diversity and Inclusion, we can form an open and accepting school, where all people feel like they belong. 

In this context, language use was an important factor. With many hands-on activities, exchange between the participants and powerful videos, we left this training with a lot of new ideas and great opportunities to implement at our schools. 

The connections I made were amazing, and I hope that this will lead to more cooperation between our schools, but also a rethinking of processes in our schools. It sure made me rethink some of my teaching and realize how many great things already happen at GIS Portland!

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