I've been a part of GEC for about 2 years now and it's sadly taken me this long to get an introductory post up. :) This year I'm in a bit of a different position than I've ever been in before. For the last 5 years I've been teaching Spanish at an elementary school. This is my 6th year of teaching. Due to budget and economic issues, our elementary school Spanish program was cut. It saddens me that this happened (I'm actually a product of that program - I taught at the school where I was first exposed to Spanish!), but we've been very lucky as a district to have a superintendent that has been able to put off this kind of cut when other districts cut it years ago. His goal for our county is GIG - globalization, innovation, graduation. Most of these elementary positions were given to regular classroom teachers, which is understandable due to cuts in TAs and growing class sizes. The kids need a solid start in the 3Rs (though I'd also love to add to that languages!).
Before any of this happened, I applied for the gloal teacher cohort in our district. It involved showcasing ways we've integrated globalization/global ed/global focus in our classrooms. This is the first time our district has done something of the sort. Then...everything with the elementary Spanish program was cut. Some folks went to HS/MS positions and I have been placed at a middle school as a global teacher. It's been a different kind of start to the year. I don't have regular classes nor a classroom. It was strange not setting up desks and immediately getting started on lesson plans. However, being a part of this cohort and being the global teacher here, I've been having so much fun researching, learning and investing in the teachers and students here. I've had time to create documents about what global issues fit in best with certain subjects/grade levels, outline basic projects that teachers could use, list global resources, search for global partner schools, create presentations as a part of this global teacher cohort to present at staff meetings, and I've helped get several global projects going as a liason for the teachers, contact and admin. I LOVE IT.
I'm presently working with our student council on a New Global Citizens project called House of Hope in Uganda and I'm setting up pen pals (Hand written letters! In 2011! Novel!) for several teachers in Poland and Kenya. (Side note: I highly recommend checking out GSBI - http://www.gsbi.org) Also working with our globalization team to plan an international festival and I'm going into a social studies class once a month to do presentations on the various cultural heritage months we have throughout the year (Hispanic Heritage month, Asian Pacific American Heritage month, Arab American, European American, etc.). I'm really excited and loving the opportunity to research and learn and SHARE information and ideas with teachers and students.
So... That's me. That's what I'm up to this year. I thoroughly enjoy the research and learning aspect. If anyone is interested in any documents, I'm more than willing to share.
Thanks all! Looking forward to the continued conversation throughout the rest of this school year.