Trip Home Blog Post #17
My entire trip home was supposed to be forty hours long. It was also supposed to start on the tenth of July. As it turned out though I was destined to leave a day early, spend three extra hours on the tarmac, miss a connection just to get sent running across an airport to catch the next one in twenty minutes, and finally to arrive only an hour later than expected. The hugs were welcomed and appreciated but it was also time to reconnect with the family and our shared loss, as preparation and conversation for the celebration of life for my uncle was my next important event on my journey through life.
Two Free Days Blog Post #16
For the last two days of our trip the nine of us collaborated and organized a trip to cape point, a day in the markets and culminating in climbing Lion’s Head the final morning. The company that we chose to do our trip through included a boat out to seal island and a biking tour of cape point national park in addition to the traditional stops at Boulders beach and the lighthouse. Our trip started nice and early with a state of confusion about our pickup spot. Apparently there are two hotels with the same name in Cape Town and they believed that we were at the other one, so after missing our bus out to the bay we had a decision to make. We communicated with the company and were told that we could take an Uber out to the bay and make it for the boat to seal island. After Ubering to the presumed location in two separate Ubers, with only one person with service, we made our way to the bay and asked the local merchants for assistance. Eventually the other Uber arrived and we just made it onto the next boat out. After enjoying the scenery and the seals we meandered back to our van and got to know our fellow travelers. We stopped at an amazing outlook and had a minimal lunch after a series of group photos. Next we made our way to Boulders beach to visit the penguins, they were adorable and great to see during their nesting phase. The following stop was the biking tour of the national park. As is apparently customary for tourist groups in South Africa, the bikes have the worst brakes that I have ever seen. We got to enjoy amazing scenery and ended up seeing ostriches and antelope along our journey. There were a lot more hills and inclines than they implied which seems to be another staple of biking tourism in South Africa. Once we all returned to the van we made our way out to the lighthouse. We all had an amazing time taking pictures, walking up thousands of steps and exploring the southwestern most part of the African continent. We had the option to hike down to the point from the lighthouse. Some of us, myself included, took this option and got an outstanding trip meandering along the coast. Finally on our way back to Cape Town we had to take a quick stop as an ostrich decided to cross the road and start grazing. The second day we all wanted a breather and got to sleep in! Once we were done sleeping in we got the chance to go shopping for our loved ones and ourselves. The first stop was a fancier market with a huge food selection. I budgeted myself 200 rand (about $17) and set to task getting samples of all the different kinds of options from diverse cultures that I could find, I ended up with seven pieces of food and a smoothie. After fully and purposefully exploring the food market I went around to some shops and found myself enamored with the options that were just slightly too big to fit in my backpack or too expensive in relation to my appreciation. After a fun manhunt for Antonio we all grouped up and made our way to the next market. This market, I think the green one, was a series of pop up stands in the middle of a random square. Once we got a small pep-talk from Professor Jez about bargaining and respect we were let loose on the welcoming locals with their wares. I provided backup for those classmates that felt they needed a negotiating partner, as I am quite fond of getting to know new people and the whole process behind negotiating prices. I also found that I was able to appreciate and have great conversations with the merchants about life and their wares regardless of whether or not I made a purchase. A lot of this stems from the extreme politeness that exemplifies the people of Cape Town, as such I was able to make good connections with the locals when I was respectful. I caved once or twice and made some purchases myself even though I knew my space was limited. The last market that we went to was a food market along the wharf. At this point we were all tuckered out from shopping and moving between these very different markets. On the final morning a few of us decided to hike/climb up Lion’s Head for sunrise. Hannah met us for the hike and we were off as soon as we arrived. The initial push was a little too much for me and I had to slow down more than everyone wanted to so luckily Amelia stayed back with me and I made sure to push it to get to the right side fo the mountain for the sunrise at the very least. When we made it to the first ladder I knew that I was going all the way up but at my own speed. By the time we got to the footholds the sun was quite a bit farther up in the sky but we got to enjoy the thrill of hanging from small pieces of metal in rock just the same. When we got to the top everyone was happy to see Amelia yet were surprised to see me. Later Antonio mentioned that that was partly because I was still wearing my hoodie through it all. We took in the view, shared in our experiences and took many pictures on the windy top. On the way down we stopped and watched a few whales out in the bay breaching and spouting. When we got back to the hotel everyone was getting ready to leave, at least the hotel, and we got good bonding and logistics out of the way even though a large amount of us were tired from our trek up Lion’s Head.
On the final day of the conference we woke up early to hear the keynote speaker and were told that we would be truncating our day so that we could have a celebratory wine tour in Stellenbosch in order to wind down from this intense academic leg of our study abroad journey. The keynote speaker Alfredo Artiles (2018) talked about “Inclusive Education in Developing Countries: A Case Study from Guatemala”. He asked the question how do cultural tools, particularly inclusive education, travel across time and contents? His focus was on the experiences of Guatemalan farmer’s children and their access to and benefits of going to school. He told the story about how these families are far from school, their children face safety issues from the travel to school, and that ultimately there is little cultural merit or job support for those students that complete school. This question prompted me to talk with him afterwards about finding a cultural means of understanding what aspects of schooling they might find beneficial and the different ways that we could approach them as educators to fit these aspects rather than pushing them through a system that they leave and find unworthy of their child’s time. He praised me for understanding the cultural nuances of a different setting and made a point to ask my school and location. I greatly appreciated his feedback and was grateful that I understood the talk he just gave. Session 11D For the first session after the keynote I went and watched Alexandra Da Fonte present her two presentations “Communication Goals for Students with Complex Communication Needs: Strategies for Making it Work!” And “Helping Students with Disabilities to Communicate: A Teacher’s Guide on AAC”. These back-to-back presentations on communicating with nonverbal students led me to appreciate the patience and nuance of an amazing scaffolding tool the DAGG-2. While I have not yet experienced a student that will not vocalize these conversations helped me to understand some of the tools and strategies that I can use if I am faced with a student in that situation or even a vocal but obstinate student. I also hope to bring the patient goal structuring strategies that she presented into my SSTs and differentiated instructions when necessary. Despite these benefits I found myself overwhelmed with information and equally confused and impressed as to how she was able to transition between her two presentations with herself. Session 12B For my final session I enjoyed Xenophon De Jongh and David Test’s (2018) hands-on presentation “What Works in Secondary Transition in the United States and South Africa”. The presentation started with a demonstration from a few crowd members come up and toss some stir fry together. The purpose of their presentation was to discuss the program that they have in place that takes into account the three streams of learning that will support learners for a positive future; academic, technical and occupational. I greatly appreciated the way that they presented the streams of learning as relating to and empowering students through the diverse perspectives of success. I took from this a strategy of communicating with students that might be more inclined to think from other perspectives of the purpose of learning rather than just straight academics. I am not happy to say that I have the means to discuss the ‘why are we learning this?’ Question with a little more accuracy and empathy.
The ten of us students got together to go over our presentation and discuss who would be working with each slide in a conference room on the second morning of the conference. We were to be the third presentation in the day’s third presentations. Our professor inputted new data into our presentation and asked us to synthesize it and incorporate it into the final product. We spent the first session of the day collaborating and managing to add the new data to our presentation rather than visiting others presentations. After dealing with and supporting each other through this process we enjoyed our posters and pastries break. We decided to go to presentations during session 6 and to reconvene during our lunch break. Session 6E We went and supported our professor’s friend and his student, Lawrence Meda and Hannah Godfrey (2018), present on “Learning Support in South African Rural Schools”. I greatly appreciated the international framework that they used to frame their work on the rights of people with disabilities and the subsequent definitions and how to incorporate them into the cultural reality of their classrooms. I will take this perspective when I run my own classroom by making sure that my students have an understanding about how other cultures and classrooms relate to the material and each other based on their needs rather than their designations. Our Presentation (7B) Dr. Jez introduced us and our project before we started our parts. We were able to get through all the information and were very on top of the process of passing the mic between the ten people that were presenting. After getting compliments on our presenting style we got some really good questions to answer. Professor Jez did a great way of applauding the Marymont teacher and students in their assistance in this project. Unfortunately, some of the Marymont students tried to answer questions and presented information that was tangential to our work. There were a few times where we were able to get the voice to answer the questions with the data that we had been reviewing and preparing for. It was a hectic but powerful experience to present and share our projects with such a great audience. Session 8A and Linguistic Conversations For the next session I went to Anya Evmenova’s (2018) presentation on “Supporting Essay Writing for Students with Diverse Needs in Inclusive Classrooms”. I learned of a few resources to help provide students with a digital tool to scaffold the construction of their essays. This review of the tool and how to incorporate it into the classroom was extremely helpful to me as it is one of the standards for third grade. I actually created my own tools in my student-teacher placement the previous semester so I was grateful to see that there are more fully fleshed out tools available for these standards. After this presentation Michelle, Hannah, Carla (a local volunteer for the conference) and I went out into the foyer and got to talking about our lives and experiences as teachers as we all felt we needed a breather from the presentations. Our conversations led to a discussion of language and culture in classrooms. Each of them had a different home language and were all teachers that obviously had different experiences with languages as there are 11 official languages in South Africa. They taught me some Africanas and I taught them some Spanish and we tried to see if we could infer the meaning behind the statements based on non-verbal forms of communication. This conversation in addition to the different forms and expectations of math, or in their perspective ‘maths’, I found was a worthwhile deviation from the more academic scenarios of the conference. I was most often interested in meeting new people and trying to relate experiences with them as teachers and humans during most breaks and definitely found myself talking with some interesting people. I think besides the morning of our presentation I did not share space with my classmates during breaks, instead I reached out and found new people to interact with. Non Session 9 - Real Talk After our language talk my new colleagues went to the next session and I sat down next to the window and some people. I caught the attention of Tapiwa Katananga who runs Dyslexia in Africa Trust from Zimbabwe. Our conversation started as any other at the conference with the questions about what we do, how we can support diverse learners and where we are from. After a few minutes of this talk we got comfortable with one another and he asked me my thoughts on the impacts of post-colonialism on the Global South and we explored the USA role in global economics too. Once we established how we were both human first and he wanted real opinions and thoughts I felt comfortable to share my thoughts with him. We discussed culture and the impacts of taking in another’s culture rather than restarting from one’s own culture. I do not feel overly comfortable going over the amazing nuances and the relationship that we bonded during this time but it ended with tears in both of our eyes and a modicum of respect that generally stems from more time being with someone. This hour and a half conversation with a man from a diametrically opposed culture and intersectional reality from my own, being born a black man in Zimbabwe with dyslexia versus being born a white man in the United States with too many years of schooling, ended up being some of the best conversations from my entire trip.
Flying into Cape Town and grabbing a hardy meal before our early morning first day of conference was a stressful endeavor after such a long day. We needed to be up and out by 7:30am. Breakfast was an okay hodge-podge of items. The internet was sorely lacking and problematic. We made our way under the road across a bridge and through a parking lot to get to the conference hall. We arrived around 7:45 just in time to register and pick up our badges for the DISES 2018 international conference: Embracing Inclusive Approaches. At this time we met with a local professor that professor Jez has been working with, as well as three university students from his campus that Jez was able to pay for to get into the conference. There was Hannah, Michelle and Thabo, they are all teachers and work with different grades in different settings. After a few minutes of chit-chat with the fellow students we moved into the conference hall for the keynote and opening session.] Opening Session There was an impassioned speaker that talked about the need to rupture the standards and support each and every learner. Then Dr. Nareadi Pasha spoke and the main thing that I learned from her keynote were the three aspects of an African mentality; Ubuntu. There is humanness, interdependence and communalism. Humanness is the ability to treat others with sensitivity, respect and dignity. Interdependence is the ability to understand that interconnectedness can only exist by cooperating with learners to incorporate them into society as members in good faith. Communalism is the understanding that we are incomplete without others and that we are all neighbors that need to use collective effort to support and grow into social beings. This explanation of Ubuntu and how it can relate to learners is something that I hope to bring into my classroom and hopefully find a way to instill into my students. This sense of unity, respect and appreciation is something that I will strive for as a teacher when I have my own classroom. Session 1B In this session I got the most out of Lisa Hoffman’s (2018) presention on “Social Acceptance of Students with Special Educational Needs: A Multiple Perspective Approach”. This presentation spoke to me as a sociologist as the focus was on the ways that we can measure social participation and the multiple differences in perspectives based on the role of the one perceiving. Ultimately, this data heavy presentation of the different perspectives on social acceptance and self-perception from students, teachers and parents helped to illuminate the different tools that are used within each grouping or role-takers. For my classroom I hope to take in the understanding that the majority of parents will view their children positively in these categories regardless of their child’s experiences while the teacher will use more empirical means to determine to what degree students meet these measurements and students will change their perception of these measures based on the environment they are in or believing is being referred to. This knowledge will help me as an educator as I will make sure to take on the role of the parent when finding ways to explain concerns with parents and I will take on the role of the student when they feel that there is an issue with their social integration or the general social cohesion of the classroom. I hope to find the patience and focus to do these role-taking practices to best support my student in their learning. Lunch During lunch I grabbed food and talked with the students from South Africa about teaching, life and all that. While I was bonding with them Antonio told me that we had an emergency meeting with Dr. Jez about her presentation and that I needed to join the class. I politely excused myself with some of my desserts to go and join the class and discover the issue. Once I joined the group Dr. Jez stated that she was not feeling up to doing the presentation and she would like us to present her work during session 3. Background; Dr. Jez had hurt her rib, she was dealing with walking pneumonia and was having difficulty talking. So as a group we agreed to take on the task of presenting her PowerPoint. We decided to reconvene during the afternoon tea break to go over the presentation and delineate roles to everyone. Session 2B For this session I learned the most from Clara Hauth and Lisa Turissini’s (2018) presentation on “Inclusion and the Development of Interprofessional Educational Global Service Learning Teams Case Study”. I appreciated their focus on providing a service based experiential learning through their study abroad programs. The biggest part that stuck out to me was the longitudinal nature of these collaborations between students of diverse fields of study being cemented by four to five meetings before going in-country and then planning further study abroad programs using the same approaches to continue to support communities. The way that I plan to use this knowledge as a teacher is to take a longitudinal approach to content and providing experiential means of interacting with the material. Similar to the concepts of PBL but more focused and breadth defining what the goals of the classroom or the knowledge growth of students on a particular topic over the period of the year. Afternoon tea The first person I ran into from our group was Sarah and I told her that I think it would be more straightforward if only a few of us were to be the ones presenting Dr. Jez’s presentation. She ran with the idea and when we all met she asked if there was anyone that wanted to volunteer, I raised my hand immediately, slowly Amelia raised her hand and then Sarah said she would join as well. This compromise was to fit those that felt more comfortable presenting to do so as everyone would be getting their chance when we presented our work the following day. The three of us proceeded to break off and start going over the presentation that she had shared with us. We broke it down into sections and themes in order to make sense of the presentation. We then decided who got which section and then proceeded to ask Dr. Jez probing questions about the slides and some of the data so that we could be best prepared to present on our relative sections of the presentation. We stayed out and worked on our parts while section 3 was underway. We were the third presentation in the third session. Session 3A The three of us came together and practiced our individual parts and asked for assistance each in our own way before breaking off and prepping our own ways. We timed each other and discussed more data before the final pump up moments before the presentation. The three of us entered the room just as the last Q was being A’d. Dr. Jez was up to introducing us and explaining the situation to the audience. Sarah and Amelia went first and I went last. During my section Dr. Jez had some clarifying remarks to make sure the data was best represented. This was a nerve-wracking presentation that I am glad that we were able to do together but was definitely draining. We helped clarify as much as we could during the Q&A but Dr. Jez was able to field a few before her voice dropped out and we ended the session early. We took some pictures and got a few compliments from teachers in the audience and then the moment passed and I could take a deep breath. Non session 4 I was understandable drained after the presentation and found myself looking at the session four options with apathy. As I was looking through the options I look up and see the teacher that got an award that morning, Roger Jacobs, and I introduce myself. We talk about the next sessions and the options but then get to talking about teaching in South Africa, specifically the West Cape, as well as life in the region. After a few minutes of talking I realize that this conversation will provide me with more insight into the realities of teaching in a foreign country than any of the options I was perusing prior to our conversation. After starting down the topic of politics and access to materials and funding, he smiles at me and asks if he could interview me for his school. I say that I am flattered but I am only a student teacher and there might be better candidates at the conference. His response is that he appreciates the way I am able to share my knowledge and that maybe because I am a student teacher I am not so jaded by the system. He then ends the conversation and says that he will find me with his tape recorder another day. I greatly appreciated the exchanging of ideas and understanding of teaching and the role that federal policies and impact us at the teaching level. Overall I had a very busy and productive first day to the conference and got to meet a lot of interesting and diverse educators.
Lebone II School Blog Post #12
On our way down to the airport we stopped by a local school that was created by the king of a local tribe to support the most talented of students, the school was Lebone II. The grounds were impressive, huge and had all the bells and whistles that one would expect in a brand new school in the states. However, this was a school built in a very impoverished region of South Africa that only served a select few of those students living in this region. I had issues with how the classrooms were built in terms of classroom management and the sheer volume of its spaces. A lot of this stems from my understanding of schools coming from the holistic approaches of the teachers rather than a PR team or top facilities. This is primarily due to the fact that the school that I have been substitute teaching at for the last four years is the trailer village of a middle school that the charter was able to get through a supportive district. There is no field, there is no official amphitheater, there is only blacktop and community passion as far as facilities go. As such, it was difficult for me to separate the PR pitch that was given by our guide, who fairly was their PR, and the reality that this was a school that had the capabilities to care for and nurture students rather than point out their privileges. There was a saving grace when a teacher of teachers came by and had a frank and very open conversation about the roles of teachers and the state in the workings of local schools that was helpful. A big thing towards the end that further spurned me on this school was when she said that every kid gets a backpack at the beginning of their schooling and that is equity, which bothered me as its a start to it but unless there is a school uniform and supported lunches that seems like an empty gesture that borders on a talking point. This also made me concerned with whether or not the sense of community that she was trying to imply was placed into the schooling was meant to make students feel they have to give back to their specific community rather than potentially go out and affect the world. But like I said, I had strong feelings about the school and its message but I could have been jaded by my own personal experiences in an at need school and my waking up early after a late night and much travel.
Safari Blog Post #11
Our afternoon/evening safari was outstanding. We saw a group of giraffes grazing, a herd of zebras migrating, a rhino exploring and wild dogs howling awake. We also got our first real proof that it was winter in South Africa, it was cold! We were warned and there were blankets to use but the nine of us were still bundling up for warmth on the trip back. The next morning we left early for safari and so were hit with the cold in the beginning rather than towards the end. Still we bundled up and shared our hopes for what we might see on this leg of the journey. We got fortunate and saw a jaguar sleeping, two male lions prowling and an entire herd of elephants, 27 of them, crossed our path at the watering hole. This is one of those times when the pictures are truely worth all of the words as I do not think any description I could give would do justice to being seven to eight feet away from a herd of elephants. Once we were on the paved path again we were giggling like schoolchildren because of the amazing morning we had. We took a group picture with our guide and the Jeep and also showed our appreciation through tips before making our way out of the lodge and onto the next more academic leg of our trip.
We woke up early to leave for the game reserve by 6am. We took a large bus with the Marymont students. I took this chance to listen to music and just give myself a little space to relax socially, which as an extrovert was only really the first half of the drive. Once we got there we were told that we would be going on our first trip onto the reserve at 3 and we couldn’t check-in until 2. So when the ranger listed off the cool activities of the resort we went to the front desk to ask about archery as there were about four of us that had never done it before and were interested in trying it. So we asked about it at the front desk and they directed us to the person who ran it and said we would like to go as soon as possible, he said 10:30 and it was 10:20. This is probably when I should explain ‘Now now’ time, it means sometime soon but not necessarily the agreed upon time. After we waited in the main foyer for him to get us for about ten minutes passed I asked the front desk what the situation was and they said we needed a reservation. So after a moment of rolling my eyes I made a reservation for the nine of us to do archery at 11am. They said they would come get us when they were ready. So we headed out to the hill and drinks. Eleni lets me know that the Marymont students are scheduled for archery at 11:30, so I guess it is half an hour. Anyway 11 comes and goes and Sarah tries to figure out what it going on and is told that we could go at 2pm. Obviously this is not acceptable as we made reservations for earlier and the lunch time should not make it take so long to get another reservation. Anyway we get to the archery area finally around 11:40 and there are three bows, seven shooters and four targets. Our instructor was amazing and did a great job facilitating a wide array of weird rounds of different shooting. A lot of laughter, awkward scoring and lost arrows later we completed our time on the grounds and took some great group photos. As we were walking back the instructor mentioned that he also leads group intensive drumming if we were interested. I asked the group and they were wondering if we could do it after the safari but before dinner. So when I got to lunch I took a count of how many people wanted to join across both classes for some drumming after the safari. I guessed right when I reserved the space for fifteen people. We then went on safari, for an attempt at brevity I will put the two safari trips together and finish with the days activities. Besides a few awkward moments trying to make sure to get the reserved number of people to the drums it was a really fun interactive time. We all had our own drum that we placed between our legs and we imitated the beats presented to us. As this was right after the safari we were a little tired and cold but beating the drums around a fire while the staff sings was a great way to get us in the moment. At one point or another I saw each person around the circle smile so I considered the event a success and was happy to be involved in the organization of it all. Then we had a crazy cool dinner with suspended cauldrons of food and fancy drinks. After dinner and drinks we, as a large group played a silly drinking game where we went in a circle and created a memory puzzle to avoid drinking more. It was a solid bonding experience for the students of USD and Marymont after a day of scheduling snaffus and solid unique activities.
Symposium Blog Post #9
The day of the symposium started with some early breakfast and reworking of our presentation, especially as we did not have WiFi or hot water in our building. After putting the pieces together we drove over to the university at Wits in the combi. Once we found the right room that the symposium was to be held in we rushedly met with and showed our presentation to our group to try to prepare the order and flow that we would take during our presentation. The first keynote speaker was amazing and set the stage well for group #1 to start the group presentations. My group was to present right before lunch and we were still scrambling to make sure that we were all on the same page with the order and a lot of purposes of our writing in our presentation. This was particularly important as our presentation was formatted differently than other groups and had single words or phrases rather than explanations. These attributes fit the style of our group though and it ended up helping us in the end. I started our presentation by making it clear that it was a reflection of the amazing multifaceted discussion that we had the day before and that we would be sharing our stories and strategies in an organic and collaborative nature. The best example of this organic nature came on the last slide when we were discussing failure and understanding and Josephine, one of the most quiet people I have ever had the pleasure to work with, started to give an impassioned speech about student confidence and our role in their development. This emotional showcase led to a few of the rest of the group to add our own emotional understandings of and appreciation for helping students to develop confidence and an understanding of learning as a process. It was a great experience to get a chance to collaborate and present with such passionate and amazing educators. We are all planning on staying in touch after this experience as a means to stay connected to a support network for when issues arise. The third keynote speaker was my friend Erasmus that I made during the Apartheid museum. He is a doctoral student that presented on translanguaging in the classroom to increase student performance. He also cited me twice during his presentation as a different voice to the conversation of his work and talked about our conversation about favorite words. That was really cool and somewhat embarrassing to make it into his presentation from a conversation we had during my first day in country. After the symposium we stopped by the grocery store again and grabbed some alcohol and dinner before heading back to the guesthouse. My room was a part of a separate house and I, and others in my separate house, invited everyone to come over for drinks and fun. I pulled out my external speaker to make sure to facilitate the most fun and interactive time that we could muster as this was our last night in this guesthouse before we head out to our safari.
Once we got to the school we were introduced to the concepts of our purpose and the expectations for the collaborative project. We broke off into our groups from the emails and started discussing our challenges as we awaited the Marymont students. It was amazing to finally have face to face conversations with my South African counterparts after corresponding with them via email for three months. We redid our introductions and what we hoped to gain from this experience. After this we discussed the challenges that we faced in the classroom and found that we were conflicted between the issues surrounding behavior management and parental involvement. I knew that we came to a focus when Mavis, one of the South African educators, interrupted everyone and stared me down and asked me how I would handle a student that threw a pencil at another student and wouldn’t sit still. I went over the restorative nature of my responses and even utilized my teacher voice to model how I would approach the situation. Mavis appreciated the fresh perspective but then asked how she thought I would be able to do that with seventy-five students in the classroom. Classroom management and the diverse approaches and tools we have as teachers to combat these concerns became the focus of our group presentation. Allie, from Marymont, added the strategies of providing space for students to get out their anxiety to rejoin the class, for example what she called “ADHD corners”. Beyond the strategies and concerns that Mavis brought up another of our South African educators, Mgabo, asked how we could use parents as a resource to control for student behavior by giving them checklists or timelines for their children to follow in order to find an ally at home. This became a large conversation as we all had different experiences with the levels of parental involvement, remember it was possibly the main challenge we were going to discuss, and we had a group with quite a diverse background, with preservice teachers, substitute teachers, up to three decades in the classroom and a principal. Ultimately the desire for food, as we had yet to eat after our bike ride, and the unknown timetable for working on the presentation focused us on creating a series of slides that addressed and presented a multitude of different strategies and perspectives on common concerns on student behaviors across culture. We made an outline and then were able to eat and while doing so found out that we would have no more time to work with our group on the presentation. As such, Kadesha and I were responsible for putting together the presentation that night and bringing it into the symposium the following day.