Entries by Keane Fine

TeachBeyond’s Response to Racism

The death of American George Floyd is a horrifying reminder of the depravity of the human heart. This human condition blinds us to our words and actions that do harm based on race, and goes so far in many to become a hatred that spreads in individuals and society. The resulting protests in countries around the world have been a call for racial justice and for a dismantling of prejudicial systems and systemic problems that have been oppressing people of color around the world.

Being There and Near

“The people in the camps need you – to hold their hand and say – ‘I am here, near you,’” says Fatima* a former ESL student from Moria, Greece, on the island of Lesvos.

“I first met Fatima in the summer of 2018, as I was walking along the beach in Greece. I saw two women: one a Somali and the other Syrian,” remembers Liz Stegall-Lewis, Associate Director of Beyond Borders. “As I speak some Arabic, I struck up a conversation with these Muslim women. They were interested in learning English.” That led to Fatima being tutored for six weeks by Marg Lewis and Judith Lewis (Liz’s mom and aunt, respectively).

Post-it Praises

I came to BridgeWay late in the year and I slowly started learning about my student’s personalities, English levels, and family backgrounds.

Before I had arrived in the school the teacher, Miss Bromley, dedicated five minutes of class to write “thankful notes.” Students were instructed to write whatever they were thankful for on a post-it and then paste it on the board. By the start of my time at BridgeWay, the board was almost completely covered with these small sheets of praises.

One day, I approached a student and began a conversation. He was in 4th grade, his family had immigrated to Mexico from Colombia, and he loved eating waffles covered in caramel. He was sweet, smart, and very funny. I asked him what he had written on his post-it. He said, “I am thankful for my happy dad.”

Learning to Think Critically and Wisely

In October 2019, Becky had just finished a unit on persuasive speaking and logical fallacies. The unit focused on why and how to recognize logical fallacies and how to avoid them. Adhita, however, didn’t agree. “Why should I not use these to convince others about my opinion, if they are not as smart?” she reasoned.

Brazilian Teachers Integrating their Faith into the Classroom

“There are only a few Christian schools in Brazil in comparison with North America, but many (public school) teachers are Christians,” said Raphael Haeuser, educational consultant with TeachBeyond Brasil. The Brazilian government has recently made an extraordinary decision to require religion to be taught in public schools while giving wide latitude for the way teachers do that.