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.
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.