This past school year has been a whirlwind and hard to believe an entire school year has gone by. I promised myself I would begin blogging and perhaps bit off more than I could chew. We often do this in education and as I started a new journey in a new district, time slipped away. I still have so much to share and know the power of making connections. Here I begin my strong commitment to sharing with others.
Today is an exciting day as it is the official launch of The Global Educator by Julie Lindsay. Julie Lindsay and the work that she does has been a true inspiration to me and my teaching for several years. I am thrilled to see this book published as it shares the stories and ideas of educators from around the world. It is this network of teachers and learners that has revolutionized my teaching and helped me flatten my classroom.
Several years ago (must be about 7 by now) I began co-teaching with a colleague of mine, Sheri Williams. Together we integrated social studies content and technology/computer skills. It was exciting, however, there was something missing. It was then that we decided we needed to reach out to people in other parts of the world. The reality was that so many of our students would never travel outside their immediate community, however, they needed to realize the shrinking world around them and their ability to be a part of it regardless of their location or ability to travel. At that time, we reached out to Julie Lindsay and the various projects she developed and shared. Our students began communicating, collaborating, and creating with other students around the world They were also using critical thinking skills – awesome! Since then, we never looked back and global collaboration has been a critical part of our teaching and learning.
To start, my knowledge of technology was limited and frankly, I had no idea what I was doing. I had to learn as I went and my students became my partners in learning. Perhaps that was the best part of it all. I could no longer be the expert in the room all of the time. We worked alongside each other in this journey of understanding. I learned to be flexible and admit when I did not have the answer. Modeling problem solving skills is one of the best strategies in helping our students become problem solvers themselves. I have always had a passion for teaching, however, after 18 years I am more excited than ever about what each school year brings. Global collaboration has empowered my students to share their voice and given them the confidence and understanding to be true global citizens.
The Global Educator is an excellent place to start your journey. Learn from the stories of others and find an amazing number of resources so you are able to begin establishing your own connections. If I can help in any way, please let me know. I would absolutely love to help you as you begin establishing connections and life long friendships. @amyjambor firstname.lastname@example.org