First Post

In just a few days I head to South Africa, as an NEA Global Learning Fellow, and I am a bundle of excitement and nerves. 😱🙌💛🛫

Why am I going? The older I get, the more I realize that my stable, linear, lifelong Midwestern American experience, is a very very limited perspective. I don't know nearly as much about the world, people, how things are, have been, or can be, as I once might have thought. Therefore, I intentionally seek out different experiences to educate myself, become less judgmental, more empathetic and open as a person, parent, and educator.

How did this opportunity arise? Late January 2018, when everyone in Chicago is cold, grumpy, and longing for summer and adventure, I searched online for "teacher travel" and came across the NEA Global Learning Fellowship. With just a few days until the application's deadline, I reflected on my level of interest but lack of experience adding contemporary and accurate global perspectives to the classroom. I applied on a whim and was lucky to be accepted. Extremely lucky, and forever grateful.

What do I hope to learn? Over 9 months preparing for this trip, with educators across the States, from communities similar to and drastically different from my own, we've participated in shared readings and discussions around the UN Sustainable Development Goals. I have gained friendships with many amazing professionals who have inspired, encouraged, and challenged me as I began stretching myself to incorporate more global awareness in the classroom during this past school year. By sharing our successes and stumbles, developing lesson plans together, and problem solving, I found our monthly online check-ins extremely valuable professional development. Over this next week on the ground in South Africa, my primary goal is to continue to connecting with and learning best practices from my colleagues and the educators we will visit in the international schools. As an art educator, my secondary goal is to seek authentic South African art and culture to incorporate into lesson plans and share with my students upon my return. As an artist, my third goal is to draw daily for reflection, observation, and inspiration to develop my own artistic practice.


Popular Posts