My week at the Kendriya Vidyalaya Malapurram School in Malapurram, India with fellow history teacher, Robert Lurie of Lansing, Michigan, has given me a new definition of what it looks like when a school community truly values global education. On day one of our visit to the school, we were the central focus of an all-school assembly. The assembly included their normal activities: singing the national anthem, the word of the day, news headlines, and birthday announcements. It was then followed by a welcoming ceremony specifically for us. We were presented with flowers, lit a ceremonial flame, and were treated to a traditional dance performance. We were also asked to speak about our teaching backgrounds and the purpose of our visit. One hour into our visit to the school and it was already evident how much they valued our presence.
Additionally, we were asked by the Malapurram community council (a mix of school board and aldermen) for our input on a new interactive educational initiative being launched. (It looked good to us.) We’ve had our picture taken by local media and appeared in the local newspaper. Finally, three different teachers invited us to dinner so that they could talk with us more in order to better understand the United States and our educational beliefs.