Charlé LaMonica | September 13, 2019
I have a key to this school, principal Chasity Dolan announced as she engaged her colleagues during World View’s recent Global Education Summit in collaboration with Cabarrus County Schools. What more can I do with this key? A principal and a teacher’s teacher, Chasity’s concurrent session was filled with colleagues eager to hear exactly what she meant by that statement. She seemed excited about the key. She smiled brightly as she held in the air this very average looking key. We all have keys, murmured someone in the room. A Global Education Summit usually does not start out with people talking about their school building, or access to buildings.
Chasity’s concurrent session at the Global Education Summit was titled: World Language School: Bridging Communities through Shared Language. Why was “the key” so important?
First: a little background…
During the summer of 2018 Chasity Dolan participated in World View’s study visit to the Dominican Republic. Study visits are “eye opening” to educators. Teachers frequently return to their classrooms renewed and ready to globalize their schools and classrooms. Curriculum is enhanced and better teacher relationships are formed. A multitude of studies are now published, illustrating the value of intercultural competence to create students to be global citizens, ready to live, work, collaborate and compete in a global society. Chasity, like other World View participants on the study visit, befriended students, teachers and principals as the World View group spent time visiting schools and a women’s cooperative in the hills of the Dominican Republic. All listened intently as principals, teachers and students in rural and urban schools talked about the important roles their schools played…building communities of teaching and learning. Chasity was observing and recording.
And Chasity realized that something in her possession could create positive change, enhance teaching and learning and underscore that global is local in her own community. The key to her school could unlock the door and open a World Language School to the community of families from 4pm-6pm for nine weeks during the school year. Chasity and her team of faculty (with very limited funds) worked to bring parents together to develop language skills. They invited Spanish-speaking parents to learn English, and English-speaking parents to learn Spanish. Childcare and tutoring were provided for students, as parents studied. The results were fruitful, with parents meeting parents for the first time and the school community expanding and thriving with new language skills, richer cultural appreciation, and new budding friendships. A space was created to learn and grow as a “local is global” community. The program was declared a success by all parties! And it all stemmed from Chasity witnessing Dominican Republic educators making use of their school facilities for the good of the community!
Chasity used her key and opened the door. As she concluded her session of the Global Education Summit, she claimed thinking about the key was her first step. As people left her session, I could not help but watch the expressions and listen to the comments of those in attendance. Yes, I have a key… this is inspiring… this session really made me think…I want to brainstorm transformation for my school…I might not have a key to a building, but I have other keys to explore opening opportunities for great global teaching and learning.
What will you do with your key this year? UNC World View wants to unlock university global education resources for you. I look forward to seeing you at one of our Fall symposia and learning about the many ways you serve your students and how together we can collaborate for great teaching and learning in this global age. Hats off to Chasity and others like her all over the state and nation.
Have a productive and creative and terrific school year. My best to you and your students.
See you at symposia!
Director, World View