Will travel to Singapore, Malaysia this Summer
By Lori Bunn
Eleven years ago, Angela Morris became a media specialist. Three years ago she started working at Rolesville Middle School.
“I love middle schoolers and all their challenges,” Morris said. “I feel like I can be a little more compassionate and understanding from this vantage point.”
What makes Morris different from other media specialists? She wanted to step out of her box and be an interesting adult and role model for her students. She hopes that her students will grow up and do the same.
In January, an opportunity came along. Wake County Public Schools invited teachers to apply for the Borchardt Award through the University of North Carolina’s Center for International Understanding. The Borchardt award will subsidize the participation of 10 teachers from the Chapel Hill-Carrboro, Chatham, Durham, Orange and Wake school systems in a travel experience to Singapore and Malaysia in July.
Morris applied with the blessing of Rolesville Middle school’s principal, Dhedra Lassiter. Lassiter wrote a letter of recommendation for Morris. She was granted an interview in February and offered a spot on this year’s Global Teachers team at the beginning of March.
On July 10, a group of educators will travel to Singapore to look at that country’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. These are the vital components of education. Then, the educators are off to Malaysia to find out how the schools there work with the country’s widely diverse population.
The group’s journey will take two weeks. The Borchardt Award will subsidize the approximately $6,000 cost of the program. Each award recipient is responsible for covering the remaining $450 for some meals and incidentals.
Morris will be taking her students with her via video chats. There will be a bulletin board placed in the media center at school with a map on it. Every day, students will be able to look at it and see her trip and where she is.
Morris will have to plenty to discuss with her students. She will be able to calculate miles traveled, cost per mile, time zones and how she will be affected by time changes, and continents that she will fly over or be on. Further, she will have to plot specific destinations with latitude and longitude. There are also such facts to discuss as the types of government in the countries they are visiting, types of environments, authors from the country and books with the countries as the settings, and much more.
Meanwhile, teachers at Rolesville Middle will have the students do some research so they can ask questions when Morris Skypes them. The students may even provide her some information that enhanced her trip.
While in Singapore, the group will take a guided tour to get a glimpse of the diverse, multi-cultural trading center. The group will also see historic sites in Kuala Lumpur and Malacca, Malaysia.
The group will return to the United States on July 21.