Having read coolcatteacher’s great blog post of March 11th “This is the edge and it just rocks!” and some of the ensuing comments, I would like to add my feelings about working with teachers from so many different countries, sharing staff meetings, at all odd hours of the day and night, with them via ellluminate, conversations in skype and discussions in google docs, or the ning or the wiki.
I just love this current project –the netgened project. I am an Aussie through and through but am so proud to count the American participants from whichever countries of current residence, as highly valued colleagues and friends in this project and the preceeding projects. However, our culture is still different to the USA culture, our accents are different, our experiences are different, our outlook on life is different, our climate is different, and yes, our food is a bit different, our houses are different and our geography absolutely stunning especially in the red outback. We use aussie slang, drawl with our voices, love the great outdoors, are carefree, layback and obliging people.
Our time zones are opposite and our days ahead, our seasons upside down and our land is down under but how wonderful that we can all get together, share, collaborate and discuss in virtual teams to unite in projects that empower our students with such great learning outcomes. My students love collaborating with the Americans and Canadians as they have an air of confidence that my students just do not possess. They can tease my students into public speaking, public demonstrations and tasting of Aussie foods eg vegemite in front of a camera.
The students involved in the project come from a diverse geographic regions and backgrounds. How fortunate we are to be led by Vicki and Julie, to be able to tap into their knowledge base and ideas, to meet and teach the students of diverse nationalities, cultures, skin colours and creeds. Many are in similar situations to me – a small rural school, classifed remote, where kangaroos inhabit in the swamp below, together with a school in Alaska, where people have to fly in or catch a ferry to get to their school and district! This project has enthused, energised,and rejuvenated me, put me in high pressure situations, hours of hard work, but also found me facing my real class who are motivated, highly interested and also loving every minute of it. Thank you Vicki and Julie for including us, and I agree, this is the edge, even though we sometimes tipple on it, your hands are always there guiding and leading us, and it just ROCKS!