By Rachel Hanson, SED 2017
When I first transferred to Boston University in the fall of 2014, I knew I wanted to get into the classroom right away to get more experience. ED100 got us into a school, but it wasn’t as hands on as I was looking for. CT375 also puts us into schools, but again, it seemed to be lots of observing and smaller group interactions. It might have been a little ambitious of me, but I wanted to actually teach a class or two! I wanted to get the feel of it as well as put into practice some of the methods we had been taught starting with ED100 all the way through methods courses. That is when I heard of One World Youth Project (OWYP), a global non-profit education program.
Its vision is “a just world built though the actions of empowered, discerning, and empathetic generations of global citizens.” The way OWYP accomplishes that is by training and sending college students into local middle schools across the world and have those students teach a curriculum centered around culture, identity, and a global understanding. OWYP’s program ambassadors (“teachers”) are given a curriculum with lesson plans already written, a classroom at The Eliot School in the North End, and a partner. But the best part, in my opinion? College students from the United States to Guyana to Pakistan are bringing these same lessons into classrooms and sharing what their students are doing with another classroom across the world.
Every class, we take pictures and videos of what we are doing in our class and what our students want to know about our partner class in another country and send it to our partner classroom and they send some pictures and videos our way too. It is a great way for students to look at their own culture and explain it to students who may not know much about Boston or the United States. Also, it is an incredible experience for students to be able to ask questions and learn about other cultures around the world and getting a perspective from someone their own age.
As an aspiring teacher, this has been a valuable experience for me because I have been able to teach a lesson weekly to actual students, which is what I wanted to do all along. I must say, it is pretty nice to have lesson plans already created for me that I just need to go over a few times then teach it. My experiences with One World Youth Project only further reassure me that I am very excited to one day have a classroom of my own.
Rachel Hanson is a junior in the School of Education, majoring in History Education