Last month, the Global Teachers Institute, in partnership with Teach with Africa, sent sixteen South African student teachers to the United States to participate in our annual global teaching internship. The program places our student teachers in host schools throughout the U.S. where they can observe and practice teaching in American classrooms. The 2016 program took place in San Francisco for three and a half weeks.
With our teachers now back in South Africa, here are some insights from their trip:
1.There are still huge misconceptions abroad of what “Africa” looks like.
Future Leader Sizwe Tafane recalled, “One person asked a teacher if we kept any lions as pets in South Africa.”
Comments like these showed our teachers just how foreign Africa still seems to many people abroad, and how misguided their perceptions can still be.
2. The teaching profession around the world is in crisis.
Both teachers in the U.S. and our teachers from South Africa agreed that the tarnished image of education is keeping youth away from the profession. In a time where education needs the most help, the young people best equipped to take on this task are instead drifting away.
Our teachers were hopeful that programs like this one help breathe life into the global education system by building leaders within the teaching profession that will eventually help the profession receive the respect it deserves.
3. The United States and South Africa often struggle with the same educational issues.
By hearing American teachers share their backgrounds and personal stories, our teachers gained a profound understanding of how, just like South Africa, the education system in the U.S. is often also shaped by poverty and racial inequality.
4. Global-minded teachers can create global solutions to educational problems around the world.
The trip made our teachers realize the importance of being a global-minded teacher who views education in a way that incorporates the experiences of people from around the world. Our teachers expressed how the trip helped them become more aware of what global challenges lie ahead for students everywhere. And, it initiated necessary conversations of creating global solutions.
5. In the 21st century, a global network of teachers is possible.
Upon returning to South Africa, our teachers were grateful that through the use of technology, they can continue connecting with teachers from the United States and all over the world. They are excited to continue building a global network of teachers to share more experiences, trade information, and find collective solutions.
And they’re grateful that by having these global experience young and early in their teaching profession, there’s more hope for a brighter educational future.
To find out more on our USA Internship Programme, click here.