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My unforgettable summer holiday

This summer I had the most exceptional experience, having lived and worked in Rwanda for the month of July as part of the Wood Foundation's global learning partnerships programme. As I left Scotland bound for GS Rango school in the district of Ruhuha, I was aware that I was heading for a new and completely different way of living - the culture, the language, the food, the education and the privilege of absorbing and being involved in all aspects of a new life.

At 5.30am every morning, a loud radio announced it was time to get up. On my 30-minute walk to school I would receive the most amazing smiles from people, and would hear the word "mwaramutse" over and over again - "good morning" in Kinyarwanda. It's not a language I have much experience of but the Rwandan people greatly appreciated my efforts to learn it. They were patient and proud to teach me new words, with "murakose" ("thank you") always bringing joy.

It was also a privilege to join the Rwandan professionals in their CPD, which provided a range of high-level teaching and learning practices on learning styles, reading, parents' involvement, cooperative learning, positive feedback and more.

I found the teachers and students to be friendly, respectful, kind and eager to know more about the outside world. Teachers must share knowledge, but we must also respect each other, our similarities and our differences. I hope that I can share with others the positive impact of this experience upon me, personally and professionally.

In Rwanda I had fun, made friends and learned about the country's culture, language, values, tradition and religion. The trip helped me to pursue my dream of making the most of my opportunities, and of ensuring that my life inspires others to extend their own learning and teaching. A totally unforgettable experience.

Suzel O'Donnell

English as an additional language (EAL) teacher, Angus

Short and tweet

Dear politician, you will close gap and raise attainment if the focus is on learning and teaching, rather than testing to measure the system.

@GilchristGeorge

There are good state schools and good independent schools. Schools work together in partnership for their mutual benefit.

@roffeme

Getting to see how proud my students are of their results after their hard work paid off! #pedagoofriday

@MsCunninghamBio

Our P7 house captain candidates gave fantastic speeches to their houses today as part of their campaigns. Well done!

@Garrowhillps

A friend, observing the first day of school: "There was one kid who hated stickers. Kindergarten's gonna be tough for that little guy."

@Doug_Lemov

So many more trees in Edinburgh changing colour now. Rapid escalation overnight. I'm calling it: autumn it is.

@arcticlass

Every year a pupil will probably tell you they want to be an astronaut. Now you can show them how! astronauts.nasa.gov

@IanStuart66

The only trouble with working away in a university library is the certain knowledge that you'll be ejected for trying to bring a kettle with you.

@MrMcEnaney

Letters for publication in TESS should arrive by 10am Monday. Send your letters, ideally of no more than 250 words in length, including contact address and phone number, by email to scotletters@tesglobal.com. Letters may be edited

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