This week, meet Holly Pazos, one of our Global Ambassadors from Texas, USA! Holly teaches 6th grade World Cultures, and she and her students have a lot of fun participating in a variety of PenPal projects!
This week, meet one of our Global Ambassadors, Aprilanne Lynch from Illinois, USA! A lot of teachers know Aprilanne from her helpful blog post, Getting Started with PenPal Schools. Learn more about Aprilanne and why she loves PenPal Schools!
PenPal Schools Global Ambassadors are innovative educators who are leaders in our community! This week, meet Müge Kalay, our Global Ambassador from Turkey, and learn what she loves about PenPal Schools!
Aprilanne Lynch is a PenPal Schools Global Ambassador from Chicago, Illinois, USA. She teaches 5th grade and her students love to learn about what’s happening around the world with PenPal Schools. Visit her blog for resources and tips!
Getting Started with PenPal Schools
By Aprilanne Lynch @lynchified_422
When I was in fourth grade, my teacher one day announced that we were going to have pen pals from Ghana. The whole class erupted in excitement! Will we get to write them everyday? Will we meet them? Can we ask them about their lives? Questions and comments bounced off the walls of my classroom until our teacher calmed us down.
However, it was the end of the school year and we sent our letters by mail. By the time our pen pals got our letters and responded, we were out of school and never received them. It pained me not to know if she received my message! It would have been amazing to get to know someone outside of my hometown. Was she similar or different than me?
So, how do I give my students the experience of getting to know a student that lives beyond our country’s borders? By having my students write to PenPals with PenPal Schools!
My journey began from applying to the Global Teacher Prize. The Global Teacher Prize is a US $1 million award presented annually to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to their profession. The Global Teacher Prize is awarded by the Varkey Foundation under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister, and Emir of Dubai.
This year we are proud to welcome a new cohort of PenPal Schools Global Ambassadors. Our Ambassadors are not only passionate about global education but also value community and learning with peers. Together they form a global network of education leaders from North America, South America, Europe and Africa. Over the next year Ambassadors will share best practices and lessons learned with one another and colleagues through professional development opportunities as well as work to grow our global community.
Get to know our 2016 PenPal Schools Global Ambassadors:
If we were middle school students today we'd want to have Ashley Selck as our humanities teacher. Why? You don't have to chat with Selck for long to learn how passionate she is about her students and her profession. Also, when we asked her for a photo of herself she sent this awesome one!
Selck teaches cutting-edge humanities courses at Monte Vista Christian School in Watsonville, California. She holds her students to a high standard (especially when it comes to writing). She inspires them with interesting topics (like "entrepreneurship and the Gilded Age"). Selck also offers her students opportunities to reflect on what they've learned. For example, her students keep a classroom blog and Twitter account. Recently students published their letters to social enterprises and notes from their lessons.
We chatted with Selck, one of our Global Ambassadors, about becoming a teacher and measuring "success." Here's our conversation:
Three months ago we launched our Global Ambassador Program. This program recognizes those share our passion for providing excellent educational opportunities for learners everywhere while breaking down cultural barriers. One of our first Ambassadors was Mr. Greg Zugrave. A World Geography and History teacher, Mr. Zugraves coaches the Varsity Basketball team at his Florida high school! Last month, Mr. Zugrave and his AP U.S. History class participated in the maiden voyage of our newest course Walking to Freedom. They connected with students from Soweto, South Africa. Together the pen pals explored human rights issues and learned about civic leaders who advocate for equality. We chatted about his thoughts on teaching, global education, engaging students.
PenPal Schools connects over 100,000 students in 170 countries to learn together.
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