Taking a Glimpse into the Stories of the Garage: Kristen Goggin's VTI Experience
During a time when I was looking to take the next step in globalizing my classroom, my paths crossed with World Leadership School. Often feeling alone in my classroom, with few to collaborate and communicate with on my curriculum and it's global connection, World Leadership School came along and provided me with just the support I needed.
In the summer of 2011, I fully engaged with WLS by attending a professional growth trip to Chilamate Costa Rica (see blog posts). While initially I thought that what I would take away from this trip were global connections, I soon realized that the impact would be far deeper. While I didn't find a way to bring the community members or the students of Linda Vista directly into my classroom through Skype or classroom projects, I could tell their stories as we investigated microlending, education for all and global poverty. Through my stories and greater understanding, my projects began to grow from what I thought I knew about people living in different areas of the world to what I learned from living with them for 10 days.
Participating in the VTI, I was able to process new ideas on global projects, gain feedback from a seasoned and valuable coach, successfully fall, and get back up again. Jennifer helped me create situations for the boys to develop greater empathy while digging deeper into my math projects that focused on poverty, helping me find new partners for my global word problems and creating new and interesting ways to bring global into the daily routine. Most importantly, she encouraged me to keep on my path. I finally realized after the year that global was no longer the "dessert", it was the main course of my math class.
Entering our 3rd year as a school with WLS I have first hand seen the boys develop greater knowledge, empathy and respect for others. I have watched teachers further develop country studies with 1st graders that focus on cultural understanding, the rights of children be discussed in partnership with Sierra Leone in kindergarten and 3rd graders. Through these projects and connections are community has grown stronger locally, glocally and globally.
If I compare my journey with WLS to a technical rock climb, WLS belayed me on course. Jennifer provided me just the support I needed. During my VTI coaching I was encouraged by my belayer to take chances, knowing that even if I fell, it wouldn't be long or hard to get right back up and continue to climb to new and exciting places.
As I enter my second year of coaching with Jennifer through the WLS VTI program, my goals are a little different. Working alongside another teacher leader who strives to develop global curriculum and drive our Town School initiative, we will work on the following:
How to scaffold “global” into a new teacher.
How to best keep people on board that have participated in WLS coaching/travel.
How to equip us with resources and talk about ways to organize resources and ideas to share with the community.
How can we take Town School to the next level. Initial ideas include: Consortium of global education at neighboring schools. Open source in the SF community. Opportunities for potentially going out into the community, presenting, leading etc…
Identifying gaps in the Town School community in regards to global learning and find ways to gently help fill them.