By Loryn Windwehen
2013 NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellow and educator at Harris Middle School in San Antonio, TX
In 2013, Loryn Windwehen and a cohort of 35 other educators travelled to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to visit classrooms and cultural sites as NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellows. Below, Windwehen offers her advice to this year’s Global Learning Fellows, as they prepare for their learning journey to Beijing and Xi’an, China, on June 20, 2014.
I didn’t understand the world before I traveled abroad.
How can we understand, truly, when we don’t experience it? I had an appreciation of other cultures before this, but what I experienced because of this trip was a connection formed through all of our cultural blending.
Because of the traditions you’ll observe, the food you’ll eat, the sights you’ll see, and people you’ll meet, you will leave with a true respect for that country as well as your own.
You will appreciate the freedoms we have while also appreciating the entire globe in which you live. A life-long connection will be made with that country, and it will broaden your perspective of where you actually live.
We aren’t citizens of just America; we are citizens of the globe.
This is the message that you’ll more likely be able to convey to your students because of your new understanding.
Your lens of the world is going to get clearer as will your skills as a true global educator.
Loryn Windwehen is a 2013 Global Learning Fellow and Texas State Teachers Association member, who teaches at Harris Middle School in San Antonio, TX. Upon completing the international field study, each Fellow created a lesson plan, unit plan, or full curriculum that integrates global competency skills.