Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program
I’m a lifelong learner, and I like to explore things. Going to a new country was intriguing to me. I also wanted a professional development opportunity that would increase rigor in my class and make my students 21st century learners. It was a dream come true when I was accepted. TGC [Teachers for Global Classrooms] was a very remarkable training.
My international experience was phenomenal. My global perspective totally changed. And I shared everything I experienced visiting Indonesia with my school and my community. I now have connections around the world and bring that back to my class, where students sometimes don’t even leave their own backyard.
After I returned, I created a STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] night where students present their solutions to a problem based on one of the Sustainable Development Goals. They interview people in a related field and design a simple machine to help address the issue. Three hundred people participated in STEM night including businesses, nearby universities, the zoo, the aquarium, and banks, all of which exposed students to various careers. One of the hospitals is now sponsoring the STEM fair.
My students are more empathetic because I’m including global perspectives in everything. I’m a department chair, and now each of my teachers are also working to incorporate different views. We’re encouraging students to expand their boundaries. It’s about flexibility and building mutual relationships.
We’re seeing changes in the behavior as a result. Rigor has gone up. Students are engaged in problem-based learning, and they are thinking out of the box. It’s also changed my perspective. Kids are learning from me, and I’m learning from kids. Their understanding of the world has improved.