We live in a globally connected world, to embrace that in our learning experience is imperative. Because of the Internet our walls of the classroom no longer exist. I am thankful for the global mindedness of our school. This year our school started an international student program that allows students from other countries to come to our school and live with people/families associated with our school already. This gives our students an opportunity to see and hear views outside of what they commonly hear. It broadens the mindset and the awareness of students beyond their own culture leads to understanding and acceptance of others. I am thankful for this new mission at Chattanooga Christian School. Under the direction of Lorraine Hoffman, the international students recently hosted an International Day Festival where decorations, student presentations, and food dishes were all part of the sharing.
In two weeks our high school students have the opportunity to choose from various options of learning during interim week. These options include everything from drivers education, cooking, knitting to a week of international travel to places like Costa Rica, Japan, Spain, Chile, or Italy. To allow students to experience the culture of others is learning in itself.
I am thankful to work at a school that values broadening the minds and cultural experiences as part of the educational process. This global mindset helps students put their own world in perspective to the rights and responsibilities of others. As a mother that has watched her own children experience global travel, I see great value in "out of comfort zone experiences." We live in a world full of prejudice, fear, and entitlement. This is exacerbated by the right, wrong and indifferent views bombarding us in a constantly connected society. To be part of a school that both values and allows students to have multicultural experiences is a beautiful thing to see.
Schools going beyond the teaching of foreign language and the studying of how different country's decisions caused the series of events that have shaped our world's history is important in this 21st century. Our students can talk to people across the world via social media but the cultural nuances may not easily be picked up on. It is more important than ever before for an understanding of the big world we live in.