I first heard of the Teachers for Global Classrooms fellowship from my brother's girlfriend, a doctoral student who is writing her dissertation on the educational system of Kyrgyzstan. An e-flyer for the program had found its way to her inbox. Knowing of both my interest in travel and my ongoing pursuit of professional growth as a teacher, she figured I might be a good fit for the program. I read up on the fellowship and was immediately hooked. I eagerly completed my application then waited anxiously. A few months later I got the word: I was in!
Since then, nearly everyone I've told about the fellowship has been interested in hearing details of the program. Initially, it was difficult to provide them. The nature of the program necessitates a certain lack of specificity--you wouldn't sign up if you already knew what Global Education was all about, and you don't get your international placement until you're midway through the program. I had a few conversations that went like this:
Friend: So, what is this fellowship all about?
Me: Preparing teachers to provide Global Education.
Friend: What's that? Geography?
Me: No. It's something else.
Friend: What is it then?
Me: Global Education is about preparing students to live in a global world. I know that's not a very specific answer, but the first phase of the fellowship is for me to learn about Global Education--I'll be able to give you a much better answer once I've done that.
Friend: So what else does it entail?
Me: I'll travel to a foreign country and study the education system there.
Friend: Where are you going?
Me: I don't know. I put "Southeast Asia" as my top choice on my application.
Friend: When and for how long?
Me: Don't know and don't know!
Friend: So you signed up to travel to an unknown place at an unknown time to learn about something you can't yet define?
Now that I've completed the first phase of the fellowship, I can fill in some of the details. First, I can absolutely tell you what Global Education is and why it is important. Stay tuned to this blog for posts directly addressing this topic.
Second, I can tell you that being a Global Educator is not something that happens after a finite amount of coursework or a certain amount of travel. Like any specialty in education, expertise in Global Education is an ongoing pursuit. This fellowship is just a beginning. Furthermore, the key objective of this program is not just to help me grow my Global Education skills, but to help me help others grow their skills as well. In this way, the fellowship program drives Global Education in an continuous and expanding way.
Third, I can (very excitedly) tell you that I'll be traveling to the Philippines for about three weeks, leaving in mid-June 2017!
PHOTO: Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro with students from Nantucket High School, still 2+ days away from the summit. Summer 2006.