Teacher shares her love of teaching across the globe

Sarah Miner, Staff Writer

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Over the summer, one of JHS’s own teachers, Cindy Arnold had the opportunity to travel to Liberia with the United Methodist Church for two weeks. She boarded a plane to Monrovia, Liberia on July 10. While there, Arnold was able to train teachers in new teaching methods. She spent time in different communities showing different ways to present lessons to students and more. Many of the teachers in Liberia do not have much training beyond high school, and Arnold took part in teaching the Liberian teachers how to cater to learning styles, use practice activities, and even brain breaks. Arnold was split up into a group with five Liberian teachers. She saw differences in teaching but also many similarities, like the lack of funding.

When asking Arnold what her most gratifying moments were, she said, “Most moments were a lot like my greatest moments in 809– when the teachers had their ‘lightbulb moments’ and understood how to use what we were discussing in their own classrooms.” Not only did she teach the Liberian teachers, but they also taught her a lot during her trip: “The Liberian teachers and our United Methodists hosts taught me invaluable lessons about faith, prayer, and worship, and they taught me that even though we are living very different lives, our similarities connect us in powerful ways.”

Now that Ms. Arnold is back, she has been retelling her experiences in Liberia with her students and fellow faculty. She is inspiring her students to reach out and help others even by doing small things. Only $175 sends a single child to school for an entire year in Liberia- it covers their uniforms, their books, and their tuition. There is a way to give directly to schools through the Illinois Great Rivers Conference. Arnold’s trip is a wonderful example of not only using her knowledge of teaching to help others, but that people can change your life in significant ways even if they do not have much. The gratitude the Liberian teachers gave the American teachers is something Ms. Arnold will never forget.

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