Featured Traveler of the Month: Gideon Young

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 Gideon Young, elementary reading teacher at Efland-Cheeks Elementary School in Efland, North Carolina. 


Global Teachers: Germany 2014 

Describe your background:

My background in education is rooted in literacy and alternative economic populations. After moving to North Carolina more than six years ago, I worked as a counselor for the Chapel Hill YMCA in their elementary outreach program. My experiences with those children helped me see my future in education. Two years later, I received my Master’s in Elementary Education & Teaching from North Carolina State University. After teaching in Durham Public Schools and Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, I know I have found a home at Efland-Cheeks. 

What have you gained from your program?

To be able to spend a long duration of time with other teachers experiencing Germany together sprouted such a learning camaraderie in all of us. We taught each other games, songs, behavior management strategies and vertical curriculums, and shared our perspectives.

What was your “ah ha” moment?

During the Global Teachers to Germany program, there were a million moments of recognition and realization of new or shifted cultural, educational or sociological awareness. One of the most memorable was the dedication given to teaching sustainable practices to the next generation. In Germany, adults do not tell students the importance, but live it: by bicycling to work, outfitting schools as “plus energy”, and devoting taxes and government resources.

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

CIU’s Global Teachers Program is important to North Carolina because the world is changing faster than policy, curricula and governance. Our students need to be able to learn in real-time about the world. Teachers who travel internationally become educated in cultures, education and society, and are changed forever. We will always have a different perspective, because our connection to the world has been fundamentally strengthened.

Advice for future travelers:

My advice for future Global Teachers travelers is to spend time with every other teacher on your journey. We all have special things to teach one another.