Saturday, March 14, 2009
Any teacher can use materials on Africa
Thank you for covering the story of Dr. Teresa Smith De Cherif’s visit to my humanities class at
Manzano Vista Middle School. My students were very moved by her stories of time in Africa and her
work spreading the idea of “Fikelela.” It is important to me that we, as a society, highlight the world of
our students as they expand their world views and understand much more than simply the curriculum in
our lesson plans.
We have an entire sports section; I would like to see an entire creativity in academics section! In my
room, we have the Dalai Lama’s words prominently display where he tells us that: “Education is more
than a matter of imparting knowledge and skills by which narrow goals are achieved. It is also about
opening the child’s eyes to the needs and rights of others.” This is a guiding principle in my classroom,
where our theme is “Crossing Cultural Bridges.”
I would like to clear up one item that was not explained accurately in the story. A teacher does not need
to go through any training to utilize the traveling exhibit on African art and culture. The exhibit has
lesson plans and many ideas for teachers to utilize. I did go through a two-week training at the
Albuquerque Museum as well as spending more than two years of my life teaching in southern Africa.
However, the exhibit is currently being used at Valencia Elementary by teachers without such experience.
Should anyone wish to borrow this material, I can be reached via Manzano Vista Middle School.