One of the easiest ways to connect students to the world around them is through their own interests. Many of my students, or their family members, participate in team sports within our community. I start with making a connection between them and the athletic community members. We talk about the people involved in the community that makes these events possible. We talk about their coach, family members, grounds keeper, and even the local dignitaries. We discuss how all of these people come together to make these events possible. We talk about developing strong relationships with our community members and that we must be very thankful for what they are doing for our future.
When I was young, I had several pen-pals during my school years. I really enjoyed learning about others that lived far away.Therefore, I use my student’s interests to guide my instruction as educator did in my past. Every year student’s interests vary and my instruction changes accordingly.
Here are a few example of how I have connected students to the world…
• In the past, I have sought out another educators in different states and have allowed my students to communicate via Skype.
• I have also communicated with a childhood friend that is from Argentina and she talked about how Argentina was the same and different from the states.
• When we read about a story from Puerto Rico, I had a parent come in with local Puerto Rican food that my students could enjoy.
• During our Christmas Around the World event, I had someone from Poland come in and teach a few words in Polish; we also enjoyed some Polish food.
• Every year I expose my students to several online virtual field trips to learn about other’s cultures.
This is a great connection that my students enjoy. My students found they have interests in common with the students far away. They have also learned how important it is to embrace their differences.
It is very important that educators talk about poverty, homelessness, and the needs of others during times of a natural disasters. We talk about having empathy for those in our community. My students are encouraged to give to those that need. They bring in can food goods, jackets, blankets, book bags, etc. to help
As educators, it is our responsibility to connect our students to the world around us. I believe that students should develop an intimate relationship with their community. They need to know how they can be a part of making the community better. I use my student’s interests within the community and beyond to help guide my curriculum.