Saturday, April 20, 2013

Building and Maintaining a Global Perspective ~My Global Experience

The one post that forever changed my perspective on life and teaching, I can never go back, nor do I want to.
On May 5, 2011 Wanted! A Global Classroom~.was published along with a humble tweet. These humble beginnings led to global connections that are far beyond what I could have ever dreamed possible!

In Awe of Twitter~
Shortly after sharing this post on twitter I was on my way to making connections and building a global PLN. I watched in awe as the connections became a reality. I was new to twitter at the time and had no idea what to expect. Twitter has amazing people who are there just to support and learn from one another. One such tweep is @mgraffin from Perth Australia. Michael saw my tweet and kept it alive on the other side of the globe! Michael retweeted my tweet as I slept, making it possible for me to reach the global audience I was seeking.

The Global Classroom Begins~
Quickly, teachers like @surreallyno (Romania), @claudiaru (Gutemala), @mgraffin (Australia) and @ICT_integrator (Cape Town) were joining my first global project! This was an amazing experience and has forever changed the way I teach and my perspective on education and society.

A Whole New World~
The students in my class became familiar with countries around the world and saw themselves as part of a global community. Often kids referred to their friends in Romania or Mrs. Stadler in CapeTown as easily and as frequently as they referred to teachers in our building. As our global classroom continued to grow the students shared more about their daily lives and asked more questions to learn about others. It quickly became obvious (even to my first graders) there were far more similarities than differences in this global community.

There's No Looking Back~
I knew I could not go back to teaching within my four walls. We had experienced the possibilities of expanding our community, of sharing with others and  bringing others in. The students valued diversity and recognize similarities in other cultures. We learned to see people above all else, we experienced the value of collaborating in a global community. As 1st graders we came to expect to talk with people in Romania, Australia, Cape Town and other countries throughout the world.
Imagine yourself having global connections in first grade! Where would you be now?

Life Presses the Pause Button~
As lives events unfolded I found myself stepping out of this amazing project for a bit, not sure how I could manage my ever changing personal life, new curriculum and the Global Classroom. Fortunately, Michael and the entire Global Classroom Community have continued to flourish. As I have begun to dip my toe back into the global waters I find my PLN still here, still willing to connect and learn as one!
You are amazing people!

A New Humble Beginning~
Last week my kids and I began a new global project, Lunches Around the World. We would love to have you join us! If you would like to join us you can tweet us @Frazier1st, tell us what you had for lunch yesterday and send a picture, we will upload your picture into the VoiceThread. We will then invite you to visit the VoiceThread and add your audio comment!
We hope you will dip your toes into our Global Waters!

The Global Classroom has blossomed into a plethora of opportunities! The Global Classroom has taken on an even bigger reach thanks to the dedication and perseverance of Michael Graffin and the participants of this global community! You are all amazing educators and are making a difference in our children, our communities and our world~  I can never express my THANKS adequately!

1 comment:

Cathy said...

I think, when it comes to the Global Classroom, you do much more than "dip your toe back into the global waters." I've enjoyed watching this journey and look forward from you along the way.