Erik Byker | Preparing the Future Teachers as Global Educators

Document created by Sara Jo Lee on Mar 22, 2020
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Erik Byker shares what drives her to achieve more.
My Journey to #AchieveMore
Teaching future teachers is inspiring work. It is work, which makes a direct impact now and has a ripple effect for the future. I am driven in this work, because I know that that the teacher candidates I help to prepare today may also be a future teacher of one my own children tomorrow. My educator hero, Mary McLeod Bethune, had a powerful saying about always being ready to invest in a learner, because you never know when you might find a diamond in the rough. Mary McLeod Bethune's words  and her biography continue to be a source of motivation for my work. She understood that education is about the emancipation of the mind. It is about what Paulo Freire states as being able to read and re-write the world. As a teacher educator, I hope to continue to make a strong impact on my teacher candidates in guiding them towards becoming agents of change in their future classrooms. I believe that it is critical for teachers to help nurture learners in exploring the world and discovering their place in it. Educating for global awareness and for the development of global competencies is how learners go about this dual process of exploration and discovery. As a teacher educator, I am committed to the development of global citizens who are competent and curious about investigating the world. Part of this commitment includes coordinating and leading study abroad trips to places like South Africa so that teacher candidates have opportunities for international teaching experiences. The world is the biggest and best classroom. In my work as a teacher educator, I hope my teacher candidates will pursue the grand vision about the possibility of schooling as being a place of liberation for taking informed action towards a more sustainable planet. Showing and leading teacher candidates towards such a vision is an awe-inspiring aspect of my work, which I have the privilege and responsibility to continue to do.

What Drives You to #AchieveMore?