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Worldly Perspectives through Teaching

Heather is a Canadian-trained Teacher living in Harrow, Middlesex. She is currently working in Primary schools through Protocol Education. Today she considers how living and teaching in London has given her a much better understanding of different countries and cultures  - and how she sees this reflected in the children she teaches. 

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Worldly Perpectives
At the age of 26, I would consider myself pretty well travelled.
Although I aim to increase the number of countries I’ve visited and learned from, the variety of multicultural customs that London has to offer is extraordinary. This city truly is the center of the universe when looking at flights around the world, and looking at how the city has prospered as a result of the comings and goings of people of every nationality. In fact, the understanding I’ve gained about the rest of the world in the last year has been supplemented greatly by the education system here. The material that I learn myself, before teaching it to my students, is also shared and reflected in the diversity of the average London classroom. 

My goal in teaching abroad was to continue learning from students in ways that I wasn’t used to back home.  I am successful in this as students continually share  the backgrounds of their families with me. They express their shared interests in creating a world that gets smaller as we become a community, and greater in terms of what we can accomplish as individuals working together.
Furthermore, it comes as a great signal of hope, that religious education sheds light on areas that we may not have an understanding of if we have not been exposed to beliefs that we as individuals are encouraged to explore as we go out into the world and away from what we know. These students are well adapted and are thus open-minded about the world and the people that inhabit the lands outside the United Kingdom. Connections are established between students, their relatives, and friends who can now put a face and a realization to otherwise mythical places referred to in books and in lessons. With so many people from these unique backgrounds, students see these lessons about ideas and culture as natural as breathing, and as personable recollections of someone’s being. 
While our students seem to struggle early on in their lives to become educated, maintain a childhood and master the next electronic device, these little insights into communities around the world are vital in impacting motives that will drive our future. The London Games this past summer drove that point home as we saw students cheering not only for Team Great Britain but for other countries and for many other different reasons besides the obvious.
Underlying the struggles that immigrants feel when they get here, they are bringing with them a very meaningful story that will contribute to some of the broader and linear thinking needed to help humanity come together and work at solving the bigger problems in this world. To a small town girl in Canada, this was almost minute in comparison to what’s second nature here in London. This in itself never ceases to baffle and inspire me to become more involved in the goal of learning from the students, as in the knowledge they generate from the lessons.
Related Blogs:
Doors and Disabilities also by Heather
The View from Both Sides by Jennifer, Primary Teacher
Out to the Garden! by Megan, Teaching Assistant

Tags: Heather, Canadian-trained, OTT, Teach in London, Supply Teacher

Category: Australian Teachers

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