As an Expeditionary Learning school, every other Thursday is dedicated to venturing out into our community and completing fieldwork. As the language teacher at my school, I want to embed human rights education and global culture not only through academic content but also via our school culture.
My students are very special!
They are full of creativity and stories! Luckily, through language, we often get to explicitly explore their cultures. Diverse by race, ethnicity, religion, socio-economic background and ability, my students truly represent the urban fabrics of New York City. Our school consists of over 40% students with special education needs. Our school is completely inclusive changing the dynamics of every classroom and every lesson plan. From teaching at a school with so many students with so many needs, I have learned the intense loyalty students bestow upon their teachers. As teachers in our school, we do not only teach academic content areas. We also wear a second hat as ‘Crew Leaders’-advisors to a cohort of advisees. We not only teach, but also mentor our students to become "crew, not passengers." Teaching into our core values has inspired students and adults alike to be: persistent, courageous, kind, collaborative, responsible and open-minded.
Dedicating an Expeditionary Thursday specifically to viewing and unpacking the film HE NAMED ME MALALA, will only be the beginning of conversations and case studies to be had across content areas. The day will begin with an introduction of human rights education and highlight the "Stand With Malala" movement. Taking students on the class trip to view the film, students will journey through NYC and identify objects that represent global intersections. Students will see a special movie that will spark dialogues about cultures, rights and people. After the film, students will need to grapple with speeches of famous global leaders as highlighted in the Robert F. Kennedy's Speak Truth to Power curriculum and develop a project representative of their chosen leader and their legacy.
By exposing students to global contexts and modeling ways of expression and communication, I will not only teach students knowledge but also develop active learners.
Being able to offer students an interactive medium to connect with human rights and global issues will help me improve our school culture.
I hope to teach students how to think about the world in a grander scale by being able to identify global leaders and also make connections to their local lives. My ultimate goal as an educator is to spark active learning and develop active citizens in our world.
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