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Neal Teacher Selected as Fellow for Teachers for Global Classrooms

Her students have come from all over the world, but it nagged at Neal Middle School Advanced Academic Supervisor and Advanced Academics elective teacher Ashley Solesbee that she had never traveled outside of the U.S. She took it upon herself to remedy that, and was accepted into the Teachers for Global Classrooms Program.

“I wanted to be a better teacher for my students, especially teaching in a school that has somewhere between 15 and 18 countries represented,” said Solesbee. “Applying for this program was a response to our population at Neal and my responsibility to grow as a teacher.”

The Teachers for Global Classrooms Program is a year-long, fully funded professional development opportunity for U.S. elementary, middle, and high school teachers to become leaders in global education. More than 700 teachers applied from across the country; Solebee was one of only 70 accepted.

Solesbee left on Monday, March 12, to spend three weeks in Morocco to experience the local culture and education system. But before she even got to that point, she was required to complete a ten-week, graduate-level online course on globalizing classrooms and curriculum.

“This was the best professional development I have ever had,” said Solesbee. “Harder than any graduate-level course I have taken!”

Prior to her trip, Solesbee and DPS Advanced Academics Director Beth Cross attended the Global Education Symposium in Washington D.C. so that the Teachers for Global Classrooms Fellows could build networks, collaborate, and develop strategies to enhance world learning. This is where Solesbee met the 70 other teachers traveling for the program.

While Solesbee is in Rabat, Morocco’s capital, she will spend a week in cultural immersion before heading to Taza where she will spend a week with a teacher and classroom to be immersed in their education system. The trip will return to Rabat for a debriefing of what all the teachers learned and experienced.

And if Solesbee’s students thought they were getting a break from working hard while she was gone for 15 days, they were mistaken. The program requires Solesbee to stay connected with her students at Neal while she travels. Every day her students are required to read her travel blog so they can feel like they are traveling with her. In addition, her students will be working on their own research projects about a country in Africa other than Morocco.  The students will have to compare and contrast the country they are researching with the information Solesbee is providing about Morocco.

“No part of this program feels like a free trip to Morocco. I know I have earned it,” said Solesbee. “It has already impacted my classroom and has made changes to the way I teach. What I have learned about global education has provided the boost I needed to be excited about teaching again.”

If you would like to follow along with Solesbee, she is also keeping a public blog.  You can find it at http://misssolesbeeinmorocco.blogspot.com/2018/