Beans & Rice for the Soul

teaching, learning and living around the world

International and Local Students Connect

I often find myself inspired by my students.  The energy and optimism of youth is truly contagious. I write about my students now because they are exploring connecting international and local students, to work together in preventing violence against children in schools.

As you can see in the brainstorm below, our TASOK students were eager to experience life outside the walls of our school. They wanted to begin developing a long term relationship with some Congolese schools. This was especially exciting for me, as one of their faculty sponsors for this Global Issues Team, because it is so closely connected with my purpose and plans for my project in Goma. Teaching and learning is an exchange, and so often teachers are learning from their students… but it often goes unsaid, perhaps because recording teacher learning isn’t the norm.  Anyhow, the truth is we learn from students all the time! And this is just one example:

During this student brainstorm, I immediately thought of Mama Godelieve’s school- I have visited there before, and a group of teachers were already planning to visit there over the upcoming weekend. So alas, we invited our Global Issues Team students to join us on Saturday morning. They created several strategies and plans for how they could begin building a relationship with other students. Their plan acknowledged and incorporated ways to deal with any potential awkwardness surrounding distances due to class and culture…  The students said that first and most importantly we must take time to get to know each other.  So, Plan A was a game exchange. And exchange games we did! The TASOK students taught and played “Simon Says” and the local students taught several different games (that I wish we had learned the names of!)

Overall it was a successful morning, and the students are eager to connect again soon. I am so proud of all of these students for their willingness to get involved in such a meaningful project. Nice work Hannah, Louise, Leah, Manuela, Jigisha, Beauchamp, Sunah, Roshni, and all of the students at Mama G’s school whose names I will learn soon enough! Also, thank you Mama Godelieve, for once again opening up your doors and inviting us to visit this school.

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This entry was posted on January 23, 2010 by in humanities, teaching, travel.
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