Before I began constructing any units or lessons with global competency in mind, I wanted to make sure that I knew what it meant, and how close I was to being globally competent. I used this continuum as a means of self-reflection and goal setting. (Click here to see my reflection.) Admittedly, even after creating the unit of study, teaching various parts of it, and then visiting Thiés, Senegal, I still have some learning and growing to do.

What is Global Competency? Click here to watch the video that helped to further clarify the concept for me.

International Field Experience Guiding Questions:

In addition to creating a unit of study, I was expected to generate questions that would guide my visit and provide a lens that I would use to process my experience. Those guiding questions are below:

  • With a class size of 50-65 students, how and when do students find their voices or make their voices heard? Is there even space for that?
  • How is music and culture integrated to teach English as a second language and history, both local and international?
  • I have read that in some developing countries, education means liberation. What does literacy and education mean specifically to students in Senegal? How do teachers create a culture of achievement and success?

Post visit and teaching, I am in awe of the nature of teaching in Thiès and Sanghe. Students stood when teachers entered the room. They could be trusted to continue working, even when the teacher stepped into the classroom next door. There was a strong desire to learn and an understanding that an education for one means education for the community.

Though his class sizes were large, 56 students in one class and 69 students in another, he was undaunted. Both teacher and students moved through several activities with pair sharing, collaboration, and then swift transitions. The students were with him. What struck me, in addition to the management of such a large number of students, was the students’ determination to get an education; to do a good job for their teacher, their family, and themselves. The education they receive is not for the individual, it is for the betterment of everyone.

Excerpt from Facebook Post Reflection, Day 8

Integrating Technology

There are a host of resources that you can use to integrate technology into your curriculum and bring the world into your classroom! The 2019 Senegal Cohort brainstormed a list of sites and tools that we have used. Click here for the list of our ideas!

Creating a Digital Learning Environment
As much as I like to think so, I am not as tech savvy as I’d like to be. However, learning about and collaborating with colleagues and classrooms around the world requires creative ways to navigate the time difference…and digital learning happens to be one of those ways.
What worked well? I did experiment with some of the technologies and found, interestingly enough, that my students although attached to their devices, were not as savvy as I thought! We were learning to use the technology together (VoiceThread, Padlet, Kahoot, etc.). To read my “in the moment” reflection about using technology, click here.
How did you integrate technology to achieve curricular goals? In order for my students to be emotionally invested in my journey and prepare to write letters to students in Thiès, we did an internet scavenger hunt. Students also participated in online discussion forums. In this way, I not only used the technology as a method to achieve curricular goals, but to also build my students’ global competency.

This website is not an official U.S. Department of State website. The views and information presented are the participant’s own and do not represent the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program, the U.S. Department of State, or IREX.