Equity & Diversity Opinion

Creating Global Teachers

By AAEE — June 06, 2017 2 min read
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Teaching is a profession of growth and development. Regardless of age and experience, teachers will always find themselves learning, whether it is through professional development courses, conferences, literature, from their peers or from their students. Location is a large part of this. District to district, state to state, country to country, education systems differ slightly, keeping the core foundations of education similar, but also differing by focusing on the needs of the students in the area.

Teaching in a different education system, in a different location gives teachers the opportunity to learn the needs of students from different cultures or backgrounds. It also gives teachers the chance to discover how other regions combat global educational issues, such as the achievement gap. Teaching in the UK provides these opportunities.

Like in America, multiculturalism is a huge part of UK culture. Classrooms are filled with students from not only other parts of Europe, but also other parts of the world. This gives teachers the opportunity to work with a wide range of students, learn about other cultures and grow into global citizens themselves, without the culture shock that might be experienced through moving to other parts of the world. They do this while still having the opportunity to use similar teaching methodologies. Like teachers in America, teachers in the UK use differentiated instruction to ensure their lessons are engaging, as well as accessible and challenging to students, regardless of their strengths or needs. They also focus on student-centred and cooperative learning to allow for students to begin to take control of their own educational development, whilst creating an environment of collaboration that will help students to learn to work together with individuals who are different from themselves. This allows teachers in the UK to create global classrooms.

Moving to the UK also gives teachers the opportunity to learn about how problems that impact their students in America are similar to the issues that impact students abroad. They also have the opportunity to learn about strategies that are put in place to help minimize these issues. An example of this is the achievement gap. In the United Kingdom, like the United States, there are systems put in place and resources made available to students to ensure they are not held back by factors that are out of their control. Students who do not speak English as a first language have additional educational support and groups to provide them assistance with their language needs, as well as to offer them a sense of community. Students who fall below a specified socio-economic line or are considered at risk are given additional resources, funding, and are monitored more closely to ensure their student progress is not hindered by their situations. Like in America, teachers in the UK are trained to ensure they provide their students with as many opportunities as possible to become successful individuals so that student by student, they can close the achievement gap.

In a time where teachers and students from around the world struggle with many of the same issues, what better way to develop as global citizens and develop as teachers than to learn from one another?

Shannon Edmunds

- TimePlan Education

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