This is my first attempt at blogging: a requirement for Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) fellows. TGC is a program under IREX (International Research and Exchange Board), a division of the U.S. State Department. TGC is a course designed for secondary educators who are working on globalizing their teaching. I am proud to be one of 60 some fellows who make up the inaugural group of this amazing program.
The title of my blog may require some clarification. It is not an international real estate site or the latest HGTV program. Instead, it is a mash-up of recent conversations with colleagues and the way in which my brain processes and functions best (?). I am a dedicated, and at times, compulsive list-maker. I write lists on scraps of paper or in various books made expressly for that purpose. Lists bounce around in my brain, and I even use a method described by one of Amy Tan's characters involving assigning one item to each fingertip. Lately I've had several conversations about the best method to present information such as a department budget or a justification for an international professional development opportunity. We've wondered whether people really read narrative or are they more likely to read and comprehend information presented in bulleted format. I don't know that I will be able to answer this question definitively, but the list format makes sense to me for now.
Another interpretation could be made based on a definition of listing: to incline to one side; careen. This is one of my mom's favorite words. She uses it when we have one of our inspired room rearranging sessions usually involving picture hanging. At first, global leaning seemed to underestimate my current work, worldview, and overall commitment to global education. Through my TGC coursework, I realize I have work to do. It is important for me to think critically about my practice and use the tools I have been provided to evaluate and reflect on what I am doing. I'd like to think of listing as heading in the right direction-a way to get from here to there.
Finally, listing connotates an instability or imbalance, even discomfort. In my experience, feelings of discomfort are a crucial part of changing behavior and practice. Change is difficult, often confusing, and uncomfortable. This is the beauty of it. As I work on globalizing my classes and hopefully assist others to do so as well, there will be those moments of imbalance and discomfort. Does growth ever come without these feelings? I will keep this close as I prepare for my upcoming trip to Ghana: a journey that will undoubtably provide many moments of imbalance and discomfort and ultimately growth.