Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Educator, not a Teacher!

I accept not only the responsibility to instruct my students, but the responsibility to take advantage of the opportunity to stimulate and excite young people educationally.

I accept the responsibility to encourage my students to believe in themselves, and I will do this by helping them to develop specific awareness of the power that each one of them possesses to determine their own destiny.

I will challenge my students to reach just beyond that point where they are comfortable, so they will discover that their own perceptions of their potential are not their true limits.

As I set challenging tasks and goals before my students, I will guide them through the specific steps that will enable each one to reach these goals. This setting of high standards and giving the proper guidance to achievement will enable my students to become aware of their true potential, which is, through step-by-step disciplines and hard work, to go beyond what they ever thought possible.

I will take advantage of the opportunity to guide my students to a concrete understanding of their own abilities:

•to question, rather than to just accept what they are told,

•to seek answers, when there are no simple solutions,

•to seek to understand, when true understanding requires grappling and wrestling with difficult concepts and ideas,

•to reason, using their own minds as sources of original thought,

•and to become contributors to, rather than just partakers of, the well-being of the world in which they live.

My educational goal is the empowerment of my students.

By Barbara H. Wagner

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Teach With Africa Training Weekend

This weekend we had trianing for Teach with Africa in San Francisco. I had quite an adventure getting to San Francisco. I left Philadelphia on a 6:00 PM flight on Friday. However, the plan in front of us stalled out, so we had to go back to the gate while the plane was towed off the runway. Then a huge thunderstorm came out of nowhere and we were delayed. All planes were grounded. About an hour later we were cleared for departure but then it started raining and lightning again. We were about 2 1/2 hours late leaving for Denver. Once we got to Denver, I had obviously missed my connection to San Francisco. Fronteir Airlines said there was nothing that they could do. I was stuck in Denver at midnight and had to find a hotel and the earlies that they could gurantee me a flight was on Sunday at 12:30. Luckily, I was able to find a hotel at around 2:00 AM in Denver, and fyi... It was freezing outside. I totally forgot I was in Denver when I walked outside and was so called. I got about 3 hours of sleep and then went to the airport and did standby, hoping to get to San Francisco as soon as possibly. The 8:00 AM flight was full, so I went back to customer service and a new person was able to book me on the12:30 flight. When I got to San Francisco on Saturday, I was mesmerized. This was my first time on the West Coast. It felt like I was in a whole new world. I arrive to training right at the end of the session, but it was good to meet the other teaching fellows who I would be travelling and working with in South Africa. I left San Francisco on Monday morning so excited and counting down the days until South Africa. Everyone that I am working with this summer has such an amazing story and work experience. I am looking forward to sepending two months working with these amazing teachers and professionals. It was a great weekend that truly put me at ease with some of the anxiety and nervousness that I had been feeling over the last few weeks.

Monday, May 10, 2010


This picture says it all. I cannot believe how anxious I am for it to be June 17th, where I am on the plane headed to South Africa. However, I also realize how much I have to get done before that time and I wish I could turn back time or add in more hours of the day to get everything done. It is amazing at how quickly time goes by. One of my previous posts had 60+ days until South Africa, and tonight as I look at the calendar I am now down to 35+ days until I leave. So crazy! This weekend I am excited because I am flying to San Francisco for the Teach With Africa orientation weekend. I will have the chance to meet all of the other Fellows that will be working this summer in South Africa, and find out more about what my life will be like for two months working at LEAP. Words cannot even express how excited I am.

Below you can find the link to the bios and information about the wonderful people that I will have the chance to work with and live with while I am in South Africa.