Global Teachers Germany 2017: Day Four

Orientation | Day One | Day Two | Day Three | Day Four | Day Five | Day Six | Day Seven | Day Eight | Day Nine | Follow-Up

Day Four

Leaving Berlin behind, the Global Teachers delegation traveled southwest to Stuttgart, the state capital of Baden-Württemberg. 2015 statistics indicate that 40% of Stuttgart’s residents are immigrants from outside of Germany and 20,000 new immigrants arrive each year. Levant Gunes, a city planning office employee and teacher at Stuttgart University, told the New York Times that “the percentage of entrepreneurs in Stuttgart with migrants backgrounds is the highest in Germany.”

Up first: the teachers were invited to join Baden-Württemberg International for lunch. The company is focused on serving as a central point-of-contact for companies and institutions who look to become more global. They then participated in a discussion of the school system and Germany’s education model with representatives of the Ministry of Education; the Ministry of REsearch, Science, and the Arts; the Ludwisgburg University of Education; as well as the Seminar for Teacher Education, Tübingen.

Lee Quinn from Broughton High School reflected on what the teachers learned during their presentations on the education system.

To put it mildly, teacher training between our two states has some outstanding contrasts. The fact that, in order to become a teacher in Baden-Württemberg, a prospective educator must complete bachelors and masters degrees before entering into an intensive 18-month period of apprenticeship — which has its own stringent standards of consistent performance — indicates the seriousness with which teacher training is approached here. This seriousness reveals a deeper value placed on the teaching profession in Baden-Württemberg, both socially and politically, as a critical investment in the long-term well-being of this state. Read more.

The group then took a short stroll in Stuttgart’s city center on their way to the Mercedes-Benz museum, where they found a connection to North Carolina.

Anthony Johnson not only produced a Day 4 video, but also expanded his reflections of the program so far.

Go Global NC (Johnsonville World Tour) Day 4 from Anthony Johnson on Vimeo.

Global Teachers Germany 2017: Day Three

Orientation | Day One | Day Two | Day Three | Day Four | Day Five | Day Six | Day Seven | Day Eight | Day Nine | Follow-Up

Day Three

On the third day of the program, the delegation got to get back into the classroom, visiting the John F. Kennedy School in Berlin, a German and American community school founded in 1960 that covers K-12. The school’s bilingual approach is part of their mission to create “responsible and democratic global citizens.” Click here to read a 2016-2017 profile of the school. While at the school, the teachers got to observe classes and talk to students and teachers.

One standout of the visit: the lunch at JFK School!

A visit in the afternoon to Humboldt University gave the teachers insight into the university system in Germany as well as the integration of refugees into the educational system. The increased intake of refugees and the immigration policy has been a controversial issue within the country and across the European Union. Since Chancellor Angela Merkel’s announcement that Germany would open its borders to refugees, the country took in more than one million immigrants.

Amanda Soldner, a third grade dual-language teacher at Carrboro Elementary School, reflected on the differences between German and North Carolina schools.

There were many, many differences between the JFK School and our North Carolina schools. One thing that really stood out to me was how independent the children are, even in the elementary school. The students go between classes on their own, they go to recess on their own, and they clean up after lunch on their own. When a teacher is out of school for some reason, rather than having a dedicated substitute, other teachers absorb the absent teacher’s students, or the teacher can just cancel class, and the children will occupy themselves for that class period.

Teacher Tina Platek shares her thoughts on their three days in Berlin.

Day 3’s summary from Anthony Johnson.

Global Teachers Germany 2017: Day Two

Orientation | Day One | Day Two | Day Three | Day Four | Day Five | Day Six | Day Seven | Day Eight | Day Nine | Follow-Up

Day Two

The delegation started the day with Challenge by Choice activities, challenging themselves to explore Berlin and German culture. Exercises included striking up a conversation with strangers about what it means to be German and what it means to be American, ordering food that was outside of their comfort zone, going to a grocery store and asking about local foods, and asking a stranger what German phrases would be helpful during the program.

The afternoon was spent continuing the exploration of Berlin’s dichotomy of the historical and modern.

The teachers ended the day by visiting the Reichstag, Germany’s parliament building. In German, it’s called Reichstagsgebäude and today, Reichstag refers to the building itself, while Bundestag refers to the actual political entity itself. The Bundestag began officially meeting at the Reichstag in April 1999.

Teacher Cindy Sinicrope reflected on the multicultural environment of Berlin…

An interesting conversation with a rickshaw driver revealed that although he is native to Germany, he feels like more of a “European” than a German per se. He commented that he enjoys spending time in France and Italy, and now sees Germany as part of a larger world community. I was somewhat intrigued to hear this more regional or global, rather than nationalistic, view. Although the man had traveled to New York City, he politely evaded comment on his thoughts about the USA, citing only his taste for American literature and foregoing any social commentary. By contrast, when speaking with our bus driver, Fatih, he boasted a strong sense of national pride in his Turkish roots. Although a Berlin native, Fatih was adamant that he was NOT German, but Turkish, as are his parents. Read more.

ESL teacher Emily Francis shared her thoughts on language in Germany…

And teacher Anthony Johnson began his video series, Johnsonville World Tour, and summed up the first two days of travel.

Johnsonville World Tour 2017 (Day 1 & 2) from Anthony Johnson on Vimeo.

Global Teachers Germany 2017: Day One

Orientation | Day One | Day Two | Day Three | Day Four | Day Five | Day Six | Day Seven | Day Eight | Day Nine | Follow-Up

Day One

Teachers departed from Raleigh-Durham International Airport or Charlotte-Douglas International Airport on Friday, June 16. They met up at Newark Airport before taking the 8 hour flight to Berlin, landing on Saturday, June 17.

A few teachers were accompanied by adorable stowaways – mascots sent by their school to help students engage with their teacher’s travel. Amanda Soldner brought a bear cub, the mascot of Carrboro Elementary School, while Katherine Heywood brought along an otter to connect with students at Oak Grove Elementary School.

Anthony Johnson brought along a 360 camera to help capture all angles of the program trip.

Upon arriving in Berlin, the delegation fought off jet lag to explore the first city of the program. Berlin is the capital of Germany, with more than 3.5 million inhabitants and has become the third most-visited city in Europe.

Teachers Angel Ledbetter and Jordan Hohm reflected on the first day for EdNC.

As a history teacher, much of my life is spent trying to get students to understand the world they live in, how that world has been shaped, and why history matters. Unfortunately, those efforts are usually tempered by my own lack of cultural understanding and awareness. The last forty hours have allowed me to start chipping away that shortfall. Read more.-Angel Ledbetter

Global Teachers Germany 2017: Orientation

Orientation | Day One | Day Two | Day Three | Day Four | Day Five | Day Six | Day Seven | Day Eight | Day Nine | Follow-Up


Over a Friday and Saturday in April, twenty-seven teachers from across the state participated in an orientation for their Global Teachers program to Germany, departing in June 2017. The teachers played the role of students as they learned about German history and more about North Carolina’s Global Educators Digital Badging program.

On the second day, they learned about the education system in Germany and received an introduction to renewable energy and sustainable development. There was even time for a brief German language session, introducing teachers to common phrases they can use while in the country.

Why all the preparation?

The thorough preparation is to help prepare these teachers to go “beneath the fold of the travel brochure.” The Global Teachers program is not a vacation; it’s an opportunity to learn about global processes and give teachers the chance to bring a global perspective to their classrooms across North Carolina.

Teachers took what they learned during the orientation and began incorporating it into their classrooms almost immediately.