Kelli Bivins (M.Ed. '02, Ed.S. '11) and Elaine Dasher (M.Ed. '96), alumnae of the University of Georgia's College of Education, received grants from the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms (Fulbright TGC) Program, which are sponsored by the U.S. government and designed to build relations between people in different countries.
Fulbright TGC is a year-long professional development opportunity for elementary, middle and high school teachers. The program aims to equip them with the necessary skills to harness international perspectives in their classrooms through targeted training, experience abroad and global collaboration.
"I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to experience another culture and to collaborate with teachers from another country," said Dasher, who teaches English at Sequoyah High School in Canton, Georgia. "Exchanging insights and ideas with international colleagues will expose me to new methods to promote cultural awareness and global competence in my own classroom."
Bivins and Dasher are two of approximately 72 teachers in the U.S. who will travel abroad through the Fulbright TGC Program this year. Recipients of the grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential.
The program will enhance their expertise in adapting global teaching methods, lesson planning and instructional technology, while also preparing their students to work and collaborate in multiple cultural contexts for careers in an increasingly competitive global economy.
In addition to experiencing a new culture and language, Dasher is excited to learn about the educational system of the country she will visit, as well as the best practices and strategies of the teachers she will collaborate with in the future.
"This experience will capture the attention and imaginations of my students and embolden them to seek out new challenges and experiences of their own," said Dasher. "I believe that it is crucial for my students to see that I am an intellectually curious person who is happier professionally and personally as a lifelong learner. They think that if I can do new things, they can. And, of course, they are right."