Hi and welcome back to Attentionology for K – 5 Teachers!
Teachers who are on summer break or counting the days ‘til the next getaway may benefit from meeting Amanda Beasley here.
Travel – The Best Teacher
Amanda believes that travel is the best teacher. A perfect outlook for educators with bags packed. Consider embracing Amanda’s view that travel can be fun and functional – an opportunity to explore new places and new ways to help kids learn about the world.
The attention connection? Encouraging children’s focus on skill building to effectively connect with a global community requires kids to learn about people and places outside their personal spheres.
I recently talked with Amanda in her role (effective to 03/19) as Chair of the North Carolina Association of International Educators (NCAIE). Her “full-time” position is serving as the Senior Assistant Director in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh, NC (US).
The NCAIE is not an actual affiliate of a national or international association for international education, but note that those organizations exist and can be found online using obvious keywords.
Amanda’s connection to NCAIE began at another college in North Carolina’s capital city, Meredith, where she worked after graduation there. When she transitioned to NCSU she first worked to assist international students entering the university. Amanda’s current work is in technical operations related to student applications, including international students.
Part of Amanda’s success is a suggestion for any educator – Look for organizations in your community that have global connections – schools, businesses, industries. Amanda recognizes that as she puts it, “a teacher’s job is one of the hardest and least rewarded.” “Access anything that helps integrate learning with global education because we are all responsible for helping children learn.”
Amanda points out the large and strong global population that is home to NCSU. The university has formed alliances that benefit what Amanda calls “Knowledge Communities” to serve students coming into NCSU with diverse needs and students heading out for study abroad.
Speaking of heading out, some international students visit elementary schools while attending NCSU to introduce their cultures to children nearby. Global community outreach at work!
Early Travels Shape Interests
Amanda grew up in a family that embraced travel. Raised in a town called Rocky Mount in eastern North Carolina, Amanda’s world expanded with study abroad programs in high school and after that took her to the UK and Europe, the southwestern US and Mexican border, and New Zealand. Forty countries and counting – Amanda has already visited all seven continents! More travel on her horizon, as fortune allows.
Benefits of Journal Keeping
Encouraging journal keeping is a proven tool to help children develop writing skills. More than that, journal keeping is a must for Amanda. This explorer tied to international education remembers being inspired to journey and journal by her 4th grade teacher, Bonnie Lovelace, who had traveled to Belize shortly before Amanda was in her class. Ms. Lovelace talked about her experience – “the animals in Belize, the people she’d met, the impact people have on the world, and the small ways to make a big difference.”
Amanda’s year with Ms. Lovelace and the support of her family have formed the foundation of Amanda’s enduring interest in global awareness. What Amanda calls “the lightbulb,” remains bright – “your actions affect others.”
Amanda is guided by this recurring theme – “No matter how different the environment or experience,” she asserts, “you can feel connected by humanity.” “Because no matter the differences,” Amanda continues, “you can find and show willingness to understand each other.” “We share,” she concludes, “a lot more that is similar than different and for many, a willingness to help.”
Remember, you don’t need to be a magician to work magic in any instructional setting!
Talk with you again soon,
Barbara ♥ The Lovable Poet