This past summer, Sandra Makielski, seventh grade social studies teacher from Davisville Middle School, North Kingstown, traveled to the Philippines for an eighteen day educators’ trip. She was selected, along with 14 other middle school and high school teachers, by Teachers for Global Classrooms, a U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs program, to participate in their 2015 Educators’ Trip. Global education is integral to building 21st century skills, and this opportunity was designed to jump start a teacher’s classroom. Ms. Makielski was selected from an applicant pool of over 400 teachers. Once in the Philippines, Ms. Makielski was paired with a Filipino teacher and incorporated into a school. She had the honor of working in Jose Rizal University, a private, secular school with primary grades through graduate school.
The host teacher, Mr. Rufo de Leon, created a comprehensive schedule that included day trips to local sites, classroom observations, opportunities to teach, and school visits. Highlights from the trip included meeting the American Ambassador to the Philippines, Mr. Philip Goldberg, and touring the grounds, rides in a jeepney, and learning to navigate the streets of Mandaluyoung (one of the many cities that make up Manila). The trip was punctuated with many, many selfies with students, delicious food, and the hospitality of schools, faculty, and strangers. Ms. Makielski learned about the educational system, Filipino history, and the important role the Philippines is currently playing in global politics. Ms. Makielski looks forward to incorporating her new knowledge of the Philippines into her social studies lessons.
Applications are now open at the Teachers for Global Classrooms website. Deadline is March 17, 2016.