This semester, tens of new teachers from Algeria, India, Korea, Nepal and the United States have joined IVECA intercultural virtual exchange programs with great interest and expectation to help their students become globally aware and culturally open. To support these teachers get ready for the semester activities, IVECA Team organized a series of teacher professional development sessions.
Teachers were introduced to the IVECA framework, mission, services and exchange forms that it provides. Through the first session, teachers found their educational passion is in line with IVECA’s mission, which is to provide students with virtual learning opportunities to study together with overseas friends at school while sharing a sense of belonging in a global community with compassion and responsibility. One elementary school teacher expressed, “... to be able to listen with empathy is so critical and so important in this global economy and global society, so a program like this really prepares them for how to think and how to respond and how to be respectful in their interactions with others.”
Toward the end of the sessions, teachers learned how to guide their students to communicate appropriately with their international partners through IVECA’s Virtual Classrooms. To make students’ cross-cultural communications more effective, teachers also explored its tools enabling visual and multimedia presentations. While practicing the ways of students’ cross-national interactions, teachers expressed how such activities would meet their students’ interests and curiosity. One of the high school teachers shared her survey result, “...they would want to know what life was like for teenagers in other parts of the world and what they were concerned about- so I started a search of how I could bring that into the classroom and that was when I came across IVECA.”
By making their classroom connected to the world, the teachers in collaboration with the IVECA team, are getting prepared to help students to have an exciting intercultural learning experience that will enable them to grow as global citizens.