This is my very first blog post for my TGC Fellowship. I wanted to get an early start on it so I could tell this story in real time from beginning to end. However, I'll need to catch you up first on what has happened so far...
About a year ago I applied to the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs' Teachers for Global Classrooms fellowship, a highly competitive program that provides a year long professional development experience in global education for teachers including: a graduate level course, a symposium in Washington DC on global education, a 2-3 week international field experience and the completion of a capstone project or global education guide. The application was no walk in the park, but it really got me thinking and reflecting about how I teach science and the perspectives we approach our teaching from, just applying made me rethink how I teach. I found out in June I had been accepted as a fellow and I was thrilled - we had to wait all summer before starting our global education course. And I spent the time thinking about how I might include global education in my science courses.
Throughout the course, we had no idea where our field experience was going to be, so we couldn't target our learning to any one region, country or educational system. The course enabled us to apply what we were learning to our own disciplines so that we could take it right into our classrooms. I mostly focused on emergent disease and the organisms that cause these diseases. And in December, I found out my field experience would be in Senegal this spring. I'm heading to west Africa - pretty exciting if I do say so myself and I cannot wait for the adventure! You can follow me on this grand journey right here, I'll be blogging on location, posting picts, and hopefully posting video for my peeps.
As I type, my students are creating storyboards for homework tonight on an emergent disease of their choice. They don't even know it yet, but it's all part of my globalized lesson plan on emergent disease. I'll be blogging about that here as well and maybe even posting links to their videos.
In a few weeks I'll be heading to DC for the global education symposium and getting to meet with my fellow fellows (see what I did there?). I think it is going to be a powerful learning event for all of us and of course we're excited to meet our traveling companions (shout out to Tyler, Mary, Brielle, Jessi, Barbara, and Anita).
In preparation for our trip to Senegal we have to get a few vaccines. Attention students (and teachers too) - this is where the work/fun begins! In the comments below, please let me know what vaccines you think I need to travel to Senegal and why...remember support with evidence and credible sources. Another question you might opt to answer: what emergent diseases are associated with parts of west Africa?
Future posts will include information about some of the neat techie stuff I learned in my course and hopefully examples of how I'm using it in my classroom. My students are pretty awesome and I expect they'll do great things I can share with you. This will give them an opportunity to share their work and learning with a broader audience and maybe get some constructive feedback.