World Teacher’s Day 2016
Today on World Teacher’s Day we at GCC would like to spotlight one of our outstanding GCC educators, Pauline Nassif. Pauline is an educator from Boston, Massachusetts who was selected to attend our GCC field visit in Malawi this past summer with one of her students Jillian Igoe. Pauline recently joined the Concern Worldwide US Team as the new Education Officer for Global Concerns Classroom.
Pauline is passionate about global education and teaching her students to be active global citizens. Following her return from Malawi, I had the opportunity to speak with Pauline about her visit in Malawi and about her teaching career…
Why do you believe global education is so important?
“It may sound cliché, but we live in a globalizing world. Our communication is instant. The world ‘global’ doesn’t necessarily mean ‘out-there’ anymore. It is not acceptable to hold cultural stereotypes because we are no longer homogenous. We are not sheltered and we shouldn’t be. I want my students to know that we and the rest of the world have more in common with each other than not.”
Do you think young people are generally aware or care about global issues?
“I do. But I think they don’t know how they can make a difference. So often they are on the brink of resigning themselves to think that there is nothing that they can do to make a difference in the world…that’s where I come in. I always tell my students, don’t let society define you as a millennial—which comes with so many negative stereotypes—define yourselves.”
Describe one of your favorite moments as an educator.
“There is not one defining moment…but witnessing that “a-ha” moment a student has which they then share with me or the class becomes infectious. When they connect everything for themselves and you can see that they are absorbing what you’re saying, that’s what makes this career rewarding.”
Describe being able to experience the GCC Field Visit in Malawi with one of your students.
“Surreal. Totally surreal. I found myself in a dual role as a student and as a teacher. It was so special that I’m not sure it can ever be recreated. Being able to literally jump inside a textbook; seeing, listening and experiencing not just with my student but with all the students on the trip was incredible. Watching my student take everything in and especially watching her ask such in depth questions caused me to learn more!”
Did the visit to Malawi further ingrain your passion to teach global issues? Has it sparked passion to teach about or advocate for a particular issue?
“Definitely. I feel like I have the bug. I really feel drawn to women empowerment and the role of women in their families and communities. It has always been special to me by being a woman, but witnessing their vulnerabilities and struggles made me really want to champion them, especially in regards to education and economic empowerment. Specifically, I really enjoyed the youth development program that taught adolescent girls their rights and who to go to if they need help. Learning from the Malawian people truly affected me and my perspective on how to present global issues to students.”
Thank you to Pauline for your dedication to global education and thank you to all our GCC educators and other global educators who make it their lives’ work to teach young people about our world and its people. Happy World Teacher’s Day!!