Monday, February 4, 2013

What's It Like to Teach Around the World?

Dipping into the 2009 archives for this one.  A very Niger moment - electricity out, raining pouring down and trying to have class.
Several years ago, I was talking with a Russian missionary whose children had been enrolled in a local Russian school.  She was singing the praises of the teacher who had deeply impacted her students as she encouraged them to develop relationships with the elderly in their community.  I don't remember all the details of that conversation but I do remember thinking that Russian school sounded so interesting, like something that I would love to experience for a day or two.  This article fed into that curiosity.

A school in Liberia
Fast forward to this past fall where I found myself chatting with a family friend who lives on Vancouver Island.  If I am remembering correctly, her daughter lives on Quadra Island which is between Vancouver Island and the mainland.  She is a teacher but she teaches on two smaller islands rotating between the two schools on different days of the week.  Her commute to work each day does not happen in a car or on a bus.  She goes to work by speedboat.  Talk about arriving to work windblown!  Even in the middle of winter she has to get on that boat and go to work.  As one who works in one of the hottest parts of the world, I can safely say that I do not envy that part of her job!

A school in Bolivia
However, just imagining the differences between her experiences being an island teacher and my experiences teaching in both Atlanta and Niger got me thinking about how cool it would be to travel to different parts of the world and experience the lives of teachers for a week or two.  How our are teaching lives different from one another?  What things do we, as educators, all have in common?  I thought it would make a great book.  Maybe one day! 

A private school in Niger.
But until then, I'm going to be looking forward to Angela Watson's new blog series on Teaching Around the World where she will be interviewing educators from around the globe. Sounds intriguing doesn't it? Well then get hopping and go find out what it's like to teach in a remote village in Alaska.

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