By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer
(Jan. 9, 2020) For Dr. Brian Cook, serving as an instructor for the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program was an experience he said he will not soon forget.
“I think there’s a lot to learn from one another,” Cook said.
Cook, a coach of instructional technology and innovation for Worcester County Public Schools, shared his fellowship experience with members of the Worcester County Board of Education during a December meeting.
Cook applied for the fellowship in December 2017 and was notified of his acceptance in July 2018.
Cook then completed a 10-week global education course before attending a three-day symposium in Washington D.C. in January 2019.
Cook completed the program through International Research & Exchanges Board, an organization that strives to “support individuals and institutions to create change in their own communities—and to create person-to-person bridges between nations,” according to the agency’s website. The program was funded via the United States Department of State, according to school officials.
Cook, a former English language arts teacher at Pocomoke Middle School, spent 17 days in Peru working with other Fulbright fellows and host agencies. He said that he began his fellowship in Lima in late June, but then traveled to Nazca, Peru, to co-teach English and reading courses in a Peruvian school.
Throughout the experience, Cook was able to accomplish several tasks including learning to help students build relationships with others, “foster a sense of global citizenship” and advise children about global issues.
“How can we … give our kids experiences to really elevate learning?” Cook asked.
Cook has since transitioned into a new role consulting with teachers about implementing technological programs into the classroom.
“I foresee the innovation one piece in the future is adding that global component into classrooms and supporting teachers,” Cook said.
Cook said this could be done through a variety of projects that helps Worcester County students communicate with international students. He added that teachers could tailor projects in their curriculum to Skype with students in Argentina, for example, or have a social studies class work with a museum.
“It’s just a matter of harvesting it, teaching people to use it, planning with them and actually implementing it,” Cook said.