This semester, IVECA has welcomed numerous new teachers joining its virtual exchange program for the first time. Throughout the month of April, IVECA hosted introductory professional development sessions with a new group of teachers participating from China, India, Korea, Nepal, and Vietnam. The international teachers entered the program with open minds and ready to support students through their first virtual exchange, seeking to incorporate global education into their lessons.
Many teachers in Korea are joining IVECA through the Incheon Office of Education East Asia Global Education Insitute (IEGI). Originated from diverse home countries in Africa, America, and Europe, these IEGI teachers have gained the opportunity to teach in multiple schools in Korea. From their world perspective of education, they focus on important global topics such as Climate and Environment while improving students' foreign language proficiency. By having local teachers work with IEGI teachers, Korean schools provide students with multicultural teaching and learning environments.
Through professional development sessions, teachers were able to collaborate on the importance of being a global educator and how to foster global citizenship in their students. As IVECA emphasized 21st century education and how it can affect our teaching in the coming years, teachers shared what they want their students to learn throughout the program. An IEGI teacher commented, “I would love it if my students learned to think in a global way with their future choices in life. I would like them to think that no matter what they do, it affects various people in the world. They should be more aware of the bigger picture in life.”
During the professional development, teachers could align their educational philosophy with the goals of the IVECA program. In a conversation between new participants, a secondary teacher from China expressed, “I hope through this program my students can have a global outlook when learning skills and applying what they learn to work with others around the world. As a teacher, I would like to be a teacher who can help students to gain the ability, such as creativity and so on, to meet the future.” Other teachers from different countries responded, “I also hope my students enhance their cultural awareness!” and, “Very happy to meet you. I am very hopeful of great collaboration ahead and learn[ing] from each other. IVECA has given us the wonderful opportunity to connect.”