The start of a new school year can bring about feelings of anxiety, excitement, fear, or joy. Whether you feel some, all, or none of these emotions, the new school year is fast approaching!
On August 11, 2016 more than 300 educators gathered together to jumpstart the school year at Ragsdale High School for World View’s Partners Program. Working with Guilford County Schools, the theme of the program was Full STEAM Ahead. Educators from across North Carolina, representing diverse disciplines and grade levels, explored global education within the context of science, technology, engineering, math and the arts (or STEAM). Along with three rounds of concurrent sessions, all gathered together for two plenary session talks. Each speaker left the audience with words of wisdom to move full steam ahead.
Dr. Stephen Hancock, an Associate Professor of Multicultural Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, opened the program. Dr. Hancock challenged educators to consider academic relationships in multiethnic spaces. He urged educators to think about the ways that they involve the students’ cultures and interests in the classrooms. Drawing from his visit to Singapore, he left the audience with ideas on how to involve families, students, and teachers, such as racial harmony events, tutoring by members from the ethnic community and stress management for educators. Recognizing educators’ responsibilities and impact, Dr. Hancock often refers to teachers as the salt who preserve and flavor the classroom. He also refers to teachers as the architects who construct the bridges among the classroom, the students and their families. How will you develop academic relationships with your students and their families?
Dr. Hiller Spires, who is no stranger to World View, concluded the program. Dr. Spires is a Professor of Literacy and Technology at North Carolina State University. She helped create a state-of-the-art high school in Suzhoi, China. Suzhou North America High School partnered with Wake STEM Early College High School on a Project-Based Inquiry (PBI) Global project. After learning about this partnership, as well as other projects that use technology to facilitate collaboration, educators were given the opportunity to discuss the challenges and benefits. Dr. Spires left the audience with a quote by Jim Collins: “Greatness is not a function of circumstance. Greatness, it turns out, is largely a matter of conscious choice and discipline.” What will you do to pursue greatness this year?
Globally competent educators prepare globally competent students who understand global issues and are committed to responding to issues of equity worldwide in respectful and informed ways. However, we know that it takes a village to develop globally competent students. Programs such as the day of learning in Guilford County last week help build global competencies in educators and provide strategies and resources to integrate global content and global issues in instruction. This summer alone there have been many events in our world that not only have an impact globally, but also in your classroom. You can also test your knowledge of recent events with the New York Times Summer 2016 News Quiz and explore ways to connect with your students by incorporating some of these events into your classroom.
At World View, our mission is to support educators with global knowledge, best practices and resources to prepare students to live in an interconnected and diverse world. The World View team hopes that this is the best year yet! Be sure to check out our upcoming events and let us know how we can be a resource.
We look forward to seeing you!