Monday, November 17, 2014

Why are you a part of TBB?

I wrote this during our TBB staff training back in August to the prompt of "Why are you a part of TBB?"...

I’m here because I care about students. I’m here because I want students to be challenged, allowed to explore and encouraged to think critically. I’m here because Thinking Beyond Borders (TBB) facilitates an experience that I wish I had had and now I want as many students as possible to have the opportunity.

I always enjoyed school, learning and growing, but I never thought of myself as a teacher. A big part was probably my fear of public speaking, of getting up in front of a group and allowing myself to be vulnerable. But graduate school threw me into that role and I was suddenly a teacher and a facilitator – and I actually enjoyed it. I loved the interaction with students and delighted in seeing the light bulb go on when they truly grasped a new concept. Transitioning to the Don Lee Center and trying my hand in true experiential education was a game changer. Now I could pass on some knowledge without standing in front lecturing. Getting students personally involved in their education creates a more worthwhile experience for everyone. Teaching in Mozambique was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Not only was I forced in front of a group but I was expected to lecture in a brand new language. My open teaching style fell flat as students had never experienced it before and had never been challenged to think critically or ask questions. I struggled and I fought and I cried but I grew as an educator and as a student. ThinkImpact finally gave me the opportunity to facilitate, to discuss and to encourage students to think in new ways and really take control of their own learning. TBB does all that and more. Seek questions, not necessarily answers. Leap outside your comfort zone as a student, as a young person, as a human. Experience the lesson first hand. Learn how to process difficult and emotional situations. Figure out how you can change the world. And have fun doing it.

That is why I am here. That is why I am a part of TBB.

1 comment:

  1. Keep changing the world Em! I miss you so much but it makes my heart happy to know you're being such an inspiration to so many and sharing that smile with the world. Love you!