Student-made 3-D models of sargassum grasshopper made from recycled materials
& cross-sections of tree trunk
model of scarlet cup fungus
In my global classroom, I educate my students for life. Education is more complex than the traditional intellectual or moral instruction. My students must leave my classroom being intellectually, morally, culturally, emotionally, physically, socially, globally, digitally, and collaboratively prepared. This multi-facetted approach to instruction empowers young people to cope with the challenges of the twenty-first century. The outcome is a confident, life-long learner who applies knowledge, and a critical thinker who solves problems for the greater good of humanity.
Regardless of the subject matter, I teach with the three overarching principles:
1. Addressing all mandated instructional content in a cross-curricular fashion
2. Connecting the lesson content to authentic real-life events and situations
3. Demonstrating the cultural and moral relevance of the lesson through practical applications
These criteria are essential in augmenting a “craving for learning” and inquisitiveness about self and others. By engaging my students in a highly effective process of learning, they actually increase their brain capacity, by activating new neurons and blossoming new dendrites (J. Willis, M.D., 2006, p.8). I affirm my optimism in each student’s success by motivating my students to reach their own full potential (and nothing less). This is critical to my student’s future (J. Willis, M.D., 2006, p.93).
As a teacher, I take full responsibility to making content and knowledge accessible to all my students. This is labor-intensive process for the student, the parent and me. This labor of love is undoubtedly the most rewarding work on planet Earth.
In a culturally diverse classroom, learning is no less than a diplomatic negotiation or conference of the global village. Each student is expected to bring his or her unique talents to this forum, to engage actively in the process, to respect, create, innovate, solve and most importantly learn for life. There is no single avenue that leads to the targeted outcome, and while the road to success is always under construction, students must enjoy the journey. In our expedition of learning, we sometimes stop to avoid the potholes ahead, or take the scenic route to make new discoveries. I tap into my students existing skills, cultural dispositions, and social contexts, which translates into learning opportunities in a disciplined classroom, detailed organization and culturally sensitive practices (C. Rothstein-Fisch et. al., 2008, p. XV). While I am persistent in our learning goals, my lessons exhibit significant elasticity to address the student’s daily needs, highlight their amazing qualities and integrate relevant current events.
While we are navigating through a period of pedagogical transition from an analog to a digital world, I ensure that my students are fluent in both, the traditional written word, and the technologically advanced new literacy of imagery and global communication. I expect my students to be able to revert back and forth with ease, like simultaneous translators, between their own local community and the global arena. They must be able to work with, and respect their elder digital immigrants, and collaborate with their own peers, the digital natives (M. Prensky, 2001).
As an effective teacher, I integrate numerous methods of assessment to evaluate both, student progress and instructional aptitude (J.H.Strong, 2007, p.91). My students are given numerous chances to demonstrate academic, spiritual, emotional and social growth. Because throughout life, students will be faced with oral and written evaluations and examinations, they must be able to attack a traditional formal test with confidence. In addition, students are expected to “pass the test” of creativity, ingenuity, and construction through teacher-designed projects and tasks that address specific learning outcomes. These hands-on experiences involve discovery, and usually result in students exceeding their own expectations, while I mentor safety, monitor progress and guide instruction.
In my global classroom, students can expect the discovery of an endless horizon of learning in the multitude of the rainbow colors. They will learn to appreciate the beauty and complexity of creation and honor responsible global stewardship. Their individual voices sing in harmony for a peaceful journey to personal success. When my students go out in the world to respect, understand and work for social justice and the advancement of mankind, I have taught them well.
M. Prensky (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants; On the Horizon,
C. Rothstein-Fisch, E. Trumball (2008) Managing Diverse Classrooms: How to Build on Students’ Cultural Strengths, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, Alexandria, VA.
J.H.Strong (2007) Qualities of Effective Teacher, Association for Supervision a Curriculum Development,Alexandria, VA.
J. Willis (2006) Research-based strategies to Ignite Student Learning, Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development,
Teach about life and learn to express yourself through your uniqueness, your talents, your abilities!