Innovation on Earth

Global Citizenship Resources for Innovation Academy and Beyond

Archive for the tag “Washington D.C.”

Loki Visits D.C.

I’d like to introduce you to Loki, a little birdie friend who will be traveling with me to Ukraine and Turkey.  Loki will be my co-star for this blog, and hopefully she will bring to life some of the different places that we visit.  She and I just got back from Washington, D.C.  and here are some photos of our adventures:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Who is Loki?

Loki helps students in my classes learn about world geography.  Every day, we start class by imagining that Loki is traveling to a different location around the world, and students answer a “question of the day” about Loki’s location.  As you can see, Loki is a little bird, so it will be easy for her to fly around the world with me!  Also, since I have a pet bird at home (a cockatiel) and our school mascot is a bird (a red-tailed hawk), she’ll be perfect company.  Here’s a trivia question for blog readers, similar to the ones we do in our classroom. If you think you know the answer, you can submit it in the comments section at the bottom of the post.

In the past week, Loki visited many sites in D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.  Which of the following is NOT pictured in a photo of Loki?

  • a) The Capital Building
  • b) Gettysburg Battlefields
  • c) The White House
  • d) The Main Reading Room at the Library of Congress
  • e) The National Archives

1st Ever Symposium in D.C.

Greetings from Washington D.C.!  The Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) program welcomed all 68 fellows here this past weekend. After months of working collaboratively through an online forum, we finally met in person!  They also invited an administrator from each school, and so my principal, Melissa Kapeckas, joined me at the symposium. Together, we are trying to figure out how to bring this work home to Massachusetts.

It was really exciting to meet everyone, in particular the team of teachers who will be traveling with me to Ukraine.  Our meeting was purposeful. We came together to discuss global education.  We all have different ideas for what that means, but we are all eager to share ideas. We come from many different types of schools in many states.  In the whole program, we represent 32 states, but just in our group, we have teachers from Texas, Idaho, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, West Virginia, Ohio, Rhoda Island, and Massachusetts.  One teacher was telling me that his school has a one-to-one policy with every student getting assigned their own iPad to use for the year.  Another teacher told me that 100% of her students qualify for free or reduced price lunch, and 80% learned English after another language.  Our schools have different strengths and challenges, but we are all part of this program because we want to see our schools grow.  We want to increase global understanding for our students.

One of the activities that we worked on together was writing essential questions for the trip.  I realized that despite the fact that I have traveled abroad many types, I’m usually not purposeful about what I want to learn out of the experience. When I travel, I usually go in with an open mind ready to learn from whatever I experience. While this can be a good model, I think I could get more out of my travel if I am more strategic about what I am trying to learn.  I am still working on drafting my research questions, but I am thinking about focusing on civic education.  I’m interested in learning how schools play a role in helping students feel empowered to make change in their communities.

At the end of the session, we met with Viktoria, a Ukrainian teacher studying in the United States.  She gave us an overview of the education system in Ukraine, and it was a wonderful introduction to what we’ll see when we arrive.  One thing I found particularly interesting was that most Ukranian teachers stay with their students for many years. For instance, she is an advisor to 30 students who she is seeing through middle school, from 5th through 8th grade.  I also learned that the Ukrainian flag’s colors come from sunflowers and sky, as the land is rich for growing crops.

I am staying in Washington D.C. for most of my vacation week, and I look forward to having time to explore our nation’s capital and relax.  This evening, I had Ethiopian food for dinner and worked on a world map jigsaw puzzle with a friend (see below — we’re not done yet!).  There’s a lot of preparations still needed for this trip, but the pieces are starting to fit together.

p.s. A little birdie friend named Loki has also arrived safely in Washington D.C. and will make an appearance on this blog soon enough…

Post Navigation