Middle East and African Cultures Teacher Fellows Program

Middle East and African Cultures Teacher Fellows Program

music plays My biggest takeaway from the Middle East
and African Studies Fellowship has probably been the knowledge of how
Middle Eastern and African immigrants have influenced our culture here in
America. My biggest takeaway from this Middle East fellowship is really tapping
into my own humanity and being able to better connect with my students. I work
at a school district where the children are predominantly from underserved
communities and they don’t have lots of opportunities to have experiences or the
experiencial background that’s going to make a huge difference to what they
bring to the learning into the material. From the program, I intend to incorporate
poetry and I really want to use that to show students how we have a universal
voice. I want to show the children how we are the same regardless of where
we are. The curriculum that we’re creating here for the fellowship is
going to be very helpful for me in particular. I’m planning to teach a
Middle Eastern Studies class at my high school next semester. The biggest thing
that I’m going to gain I think from that curriculum is helping my students have a
better knowledge of the Middle East, a better understanding of the people and
the culture there, a better connection to to resources and college professors and
materials that are going to help them really dig in and connect to their
learning in a more meaningful way. There were many highlights over the past six
months but one of them that I candidly remember that kind of spurred the idea
of my curricular unit is the Alsarah & The Nubatones concert and it
was especially important to me because I stood there in a concert where another
language was evoked another language was used to sing a message and although, I
didn’t understand the words of that group I clearly understood and felt the
heart and the passion the music. So again, it was another way to
connect with another culture other than my own. The cultural experiences have
been great. We’ve had opportunities to go to different places and interact with
people from very different cultures and so I’ve really enjoyed that. For me, a
highlight of this experience has really been just the opportunity to get back in
a classroom setting and renew myself and my interest as a lifelong learner. For a colleague who may be considering becoming a part of this program, this fellowship,
what I would for sure tell them is absolutely it’s worth every minute that
we spend on these outings these site visits. You learn so much. You go away
from the program being somebody else that you want at the start of the
program. It’s a rich cultural infusion that I would advise any teacher who has
the ability to reach and touch the lives of other children and to bring these
places that the culture of the Middle East the food of the Middle East the
music of the Middle East and Africa to these children I would say it is
absolutely worth it. We had such a fun and fantastic time and learned so much I
would absolutely encourage any teacher to consider this fellowship. music plays

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About the Author: Oren Garnes

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