Our students live in a diverse and ever changing world. One of the greatest lessons we can offer our students is the opportunity to see the world outside their own and to welcome other’s perspective. In doing so, they develop empathy and are moved to make a difference.
With everything else already on a teacher’s plate, how do we find time to tear down classroom walls and open the world to our students? One small step at a time.
A few simple ways to create a global experience for our students.
Through literature and conversation, students begin to see and experience our rich diverse world. Stories touch our students’ hearts and move them to become solutionaries; to look at the root cause of an issue and seek to find humane solutions. – Zoe Weil
Here is a link to Read Around The World; a list of book titles that represent different parts of the world. Using Gaining Empathy Through Literature document will help students practice and build empathy by connecting a character’s feelings to the event the character experienced. Students begin to place their feet into the lives of other’s shoes to experience situations unlike their own.
United Nations Sustainable Goals (SDGs)
In working with United Nations Sustainable Goals (SDGs) student learn that they don’t have to be an adult to make a difference in the world. With just a little exposure to the SDGs, children begin to see the world that exists outside their classroom walls and realize their voice and actions matter. They awaken their passions and through classroom and global collaboration they develop kinships and create ways to change the world; whether that be in their schools, home, community, or worldwide. Making our school, community, and world a better place takes all of us. Our students’ voices and ideas are needed to bring forth the change our world needs.
World’s Largest Lesson offers hundreds of free material for students ages 4-18 to find global projects to get involved.
Find Your People
When I first got started building time in an already full day for my students to see the world and empowering them to understand that they have an important place and responsibility in the world, I was uncertain and nervous. I needed support and connections to chat and bounce ideas off of to help keep me moving forward. I was lucky to find this support with Julia Fliss @JuliaFliss, Donna Guerin @Dlguerin1 and Abby French @awfrench1. They are incredible people and the perfect friends to encourage me to take the first step. A small step. A small step that lead to the next step. And with each one, my students began to find purpose and energy in learning. They began to ask their own questions and seek answers. They began to see the importance of learning and worked on projects outside of school. Their families became involved in their learning and thanked me for giving their children something they were missing. My heart ached to think that I missed this opportunity with all my previous students and hoped that somewhere along the line they were given a view of the world and opportunity to see their much needed place in it. For me, I vowed to always share the world with my students and to remind them how incredibly important they are in bringing change, even on the smallest level…it makes a difference.
“Children can change the world.” -Jane Goodall
I hope you take a small step in sharing the world with our students.
Kellie Bahri Twitter: @kbahri5