Learning by experience is one of the fundamental aspects of international exchange. While we often talk about the impact on the students who travel and live abroad, we have spent less time giving our teachers that same experience. CETUSA’s Travel for a Cause contest is sending two public school teachers to Ecuador for 8 days where they will visit a school and travel to several parts of the country. Both teachers submitted their thoughts on the importance of international education and global awareness to the students that they teach. As they are preparing to depart for Ecuador, we will look at their answers and look forward to following their adventures while on their trip. We will also be checking in with them throughout the next year to see how their trip has impacted their teaching and their perspective.
Amanda Davis – Spanish teacher, Lewisburg High School, Olive Branch, MS
“One of the most important jobs of a teacher is to help students grow into productive citizens. With all of the wonderful modern advances, the productive citizen of the 21st century is globally-minded. As a teacher in the 21st century, it is crucial that my students are educated on the nature of today’s world, and the new skills that will be required for success globally. As Thomas Friedman said in The World is Flat, “One of the newest figures to emerge on the world stage in recent years is the social entrepreneur. This is usually someone who burns with desire to make a positive social impact on the world, but believes that the best way of doing it is, as the saying goes, not by giving poor people a fish and feeding them for a day, but by teaching them to fish, in hopes of feeding them for a lifetime.” I desperately want my students to be social entrepreneurs who care about issues greater than themselves. I believe that providing them with a broadened perspective through the knowledge and experiences I gain on this trip is a crucial step in this process.”