Featured Traveler: Kelly Denny

The Center for International Understanding, through its many programs, has given North Carolina teachers and community leaders the opportunity to travel all over the globe. They have gained perspectives on education and community building in other countries, and applied that knowledge to their own communities throughout North Carolina. More than 8,000 individuals have traveled to 48 countries with a CIU delegation. In this special blog series, we’ll feature delegates that are making a difference in their community and applying what they learned from a CIU program. 

This month, we get to know Kelly Denny, second grade teacher at Fox Road Magnet Elementary.

bio pictureProgram:

Global Teachers: Germany 2014

What have you gained from your program?

I have gained a network of wonderful educators. I have also gained a better understanding of what it may be like for my ESL (English as a Second Language) students and their families to tackle the Common Core curriculum.

How have you applied what you learned?

I create educational math videos with my coworker, which are recorded in both English and Spanish. The goal is to help the parents and students while they are at home working on their homework. The videos we’ve recorded so far focus on Common Core second grade math standards. (The videos go through practice math problems in detail to encourage parents to learn newer methods and help their children with homework.)

What was your “a ha” moment? 

My “ah ha” moment was when I was sitting in a second grade classroom in Germany trying to follow what was going on and what the students were learning. However, the students and teachers spoke only in German.  (Kelly spoke no German and relied solely on body language to follow the classroom interaction.) At that moment, while I was struggling to communicate, I realized what it must be like for my ESL learners.

Why is CIU’s Global Teachers Program important to North Carolina?

I think it is important because teachers being able to experience different cultures first hand is an amazing way for students in North Carolina to experience other countries as well. It also opens up collaboration with teachers from other countries who offer a rich experience.

Advice for future travelers: 

Enjoy every minute of the time you are there. Try new things and don’t be afraid to talk to the locals. They can give you the best experience you could hope for.

See Kelly’s tutorial videos in English here and Spanish here.