"Isolated educators don't have a lack of knowledge, but a lack of access to best practices, resources, and each other." Noble Kelley

Progress Happens when Educators stop looking down their nose at education in Africa and start learning with them.

Imagine being the only teacher in a village. You're alone. You go home on the weekend. You don't get paid on time. Your students miss school. But one day, another teacher comes to help. You don't feel alone anymore. Education Beyond Borders  does this now.

“Isolated educators don't have a lack of knowledge, but a lack of access to best practices, resources, and each other,” says Noble Kelly.

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Today's guest, Noble Kelly, started Education Beyond Borders.  After a teacher signs up, they raise money. They travel to help other teachers in South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda. But chances are everywhere for us to help other teachers.

Sharon Brown-Peters, one of the first people I “met” online, first told me about Education Beyond Borders. I admire her work in Mozambique. I admire her questions(Sharon is now at ASB in Mumbai, India. ASB is a fantastic school.)

According to Education Beyond Borders , with 59 million of us, teachers are the largest group of trained professionals in the world. However, we need 30 million more trained teachers to reach every child.

When we educate teachers, we help kids. When we encourage teachers, we help kids. As teachers, we believe in the power of our profession. If we're going to help it improve, that responsibility is on our shoulders. Not every place in the world has money to train teachers. Sometimes, they get whoever they can to “teach”. Other times, teachers struggle with the isolation.

Teachers are an incredible resource for each other. Embedded in this show are some great truths we can all learn as we work to help our colleagues who work in isolated places. It starts with respect and working together – not arrogance or pity or self-righteous ‘helpfulness.'

Important Take Aways from Episode 153

  • Follow Noble Kelly @noblekelly
  • Noble gives some essential points for service learning projects. If you plan such projects, you should listen to his advice.
  • Because so many non-working “junk” computers are “gifted” to poor schools, the cell phone is being seen as a key to improving education in remote areas. (See the 2014 GESF Panel where we discussed mobile phones in rural areas for ideas.)
  • As a teacher, there are organizations that need your expertise. Volunteer your time to help other teachers and learn with them.
  • As teachers, we need each other. We need ideas. We need encouragement. We need to feel that we are not alone. Because of discouragement, Noble says teacher absenteeism is a big problem in many remote places. (As USA Today reports, this is a growing problem in the US as well.)
  • Take the time to volunteer your time. As I searched, I found one example of Mission Trip finders for teachers. Many charitable organizations have unique needs for teachers. So if you want to help – tell your favorite charitable service organization that you're a teacher and let them know your skillset. For my North American friends, take the time to call this summer so you can plan for next year.

[callout]I just got the stats! Every Classroom Matters is running 65,000 downloads a month now (up from 50,000!) I appreciate those of you sharing the show. A huge thanks goes to the amazing guests who so freely share their best practices, enthusiasm, and talents with all of us. BAM Radio, Errol St. Clair Smith and Jeannette rock the production of this show as does our trusty production coordinator, Lisa Durff. But without listeners, the show can't go on. I want to give a shout out to Kaitee Monkey on iTunes for the kind review. Sorry I haven't thanked you sooner![/callout]

ECM-review-Kaitee monkey

TIP: When you review your favorite podcasts, iTunes uses this as feedback to determine which shows they will feature and recommend to others. I appreciate those who take time to review and rate my show. If you give me your twitter handle in the review, I'll share that out too! Thanks!


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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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Cameron June 22, 2015 - 10:41 am

Great organisation. I’ve tried to get involved from down in Australia, but find it rather US-centric. As it grows I’m hoping it becomes easier to become involved.

serge June 22, 2015 - 11:31 pm

Thx for this awesome post, very useful!


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The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere