By Kelly Clark
Greetings to all Kentucky educators – my name is Kelly Clark and I am the global competency lead for the Kentucky Department of Education.
The purpose of the newly revised newsletters and Kentucky Teacher are to provide resources, practical instructional moves and information about the people here in Kentucky who already are “globalizing” their classrooms. My goal is to support teachers, schools and districts to begin or continue incorporating global competency into the classroom K-12.
Some information about me and why I champion the world view across all content areas. I am a National Board certified middle and high school English language arts teacher who has taught in both Kentucky and Georgia.
I have been fortunate to be in a family that valued travel as part of my education. As a young person, I had the opportunity to meet many people and see places that were both similar and very different from my life. As a young adult, I attended Oxford College and spent a year and a half living and working in England. My experiences there, travel in and around the continent and my British husband added more stamps to my passport and further broadened my experience.
Two teenage children, several careers and a couple of passport renewals later, I still love the experience of immersing yourself in a new or different culture. Rather than losing one’s identity – as a Southern American I hold that very close – travel expands your identity. It gives you a chance to see that across the world — most recently in China for me — that we all value family, laughter, food and our cultural identity.
In short, we are all more alike than different. Knowledge of differences does not displace or replace your belief systems or culture, but serves to clarify the most important pieces and unites us. All students should know the complex world they live in – as citizens, as contributing members of the world and as future economic decision makers.