Monday, October 25, 2010

On my trip to the US...

After two years of virtual exchange with Lovejoy School, 4 conferences on education and technology and a book published, it was time to a real meeting between Lovejoy staff and me. We just used to wish being together one day, as going to the US would be expensive for me. God was there to solve this problem, though. At the beginning of this year, the American Embassy decided to select some Brazilian professionals in Education in order to promote an exchange, through which such professionals could see how the US Educational system worked and then shared this experience in Brazil, after the return. So, I was chosen by the American consulate in Rio de Janeiro to represent the state of Bahia. Of course, used the project Global Connections as my tool to be selected by the US consulate in Rio!!
The trip was marvelous, as I could go to four American States and to its capital, Washington DC. In such places, I could visit several schools, colleges and nonprofit organizations. I also had the chance to see the American way of life by visiting and having dinner with three American families. The most special moment would happen, though…
During the visit to Dallas, Texas, I could face the most beautiful and touching moment of the trip: when I entered the lobby of the hotel in Dallas, coming from Vermont, I had the surprise to see Lovejoy staff there: Professor Cathy McDonald, Dr. Raelynn Parks and four Lovejoy students (Maya, Derrick, Kathryn and Dominic) They handled a banner with my picture and our logo .; other materials had the same printing (mouse pad, water bottle, and T-shirts!!) It was very touching for me to see that. Of course that moment was magic and unforgettable!!!
I thank God for having had this partnership with Lovejoy School; for having a real and professionally fruitful friendship with Ms. Cathy McDonald and for being able to establish a contact between American and Brazilian Students!!!
I hope God go on blessing us!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A time to bond...

in a new way, between colleagues, between students and teacher.

The rodeo, Riscky's Barbecue at the Ft. Worth Stockyard, the Texas State Fair, and yes it does seem that everything is bigger in Texas. Sunday culminated in a quiet dinner with students, Tyrone, my superintendent, and me. We discussed future plans, we discussed the students futures, we discussed language. The students eagerly participated. What an awesome time...

In the picture you see Tyrone sharing final thoughts with the students before we went our separate ways.

Not every global connection will result in a person to person meeting like we were fortunate to have. However, every one has the potential to be as rewarding and enlightening to the students and teachers involved.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Dream Come True... by Cathy

Tyrone was selected to be the only public school teacher in a delegation of Brasilian educators to the United States. It was totally unacceptable to me for him to come to our country and the two of us not meet. I requested permission to take a day to go and that was granted...until...I told my students. Kathryn immediately wanted to know why the seniors could not go too. After all, he is their teacher too. So we went back to the drawing board. Thanks to some generous donors, the superintendent and I took 4 seniors with us to Dallas.

The time that we spent there was a culturally enriching experience for the students as well as Tyrone. We surprised him at his hotel when he arrived. In the picture is Derrick, Cathy, Tyrone, Dominic, Maya, Kathryn, and superintendent, Rae Parks.