Meet Lamine Cisse, an educator from Senegal who participated in the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program for International Teachers in 2019. Learn about his experience at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Why I applied
Since I’m a teacher, I wanted to see how other teachers work, and I wanted to improve my teaching methods. I had heard positive feedback from colleagues who had been on the program. I also wanted to discover American culture and learn more about U.S. society.
What I did
While at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, I took courses related to education. Local American partner teachers helped us discover the methods they use to teach students, and I shared how we teach students back in Senegal. We got to see the difference between rural teaching and urban teaching in the United States. We had host families, and we were really integrated into the local community. Instructors taught us about classroom technology—that was new to us. We learned about different methodologies teachers can use with an emphasis on teacher-leadership and management. I learned that if you want to be a good teacher, you have to be good leader and a good manager.
I have seen a lot of improvement in my personal development. I teach differently now. After coming back, I try to use what technology I can to engage and encourage students. My students really like my new ways of teaching. They’re more motivated, and I think they learn better that way. The discussions I had with my colleagues from different cultural backgrounds and the instruction from professors helped me know myself better. Although through this program, I had opportunities for public speaking, debate, and interviews. As a result, my public speaking skills have improved a lot. This program opened my mind. I’m at a different level now.