I hope I can accurately document my experiences in Brazil and share my knowledge with other educators. The Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad Project offers an extremely unique opportunity for a special educator. The need for both leaders and educators in special education to develop a global perspective of their field and an international understanding for policies and procedures abroad is imperative. Opportunities to learn from educators, government officials and inhabitants of countries promoting large education initiatives, especially those targeting students with disabilities and individuals who require alternative teaching methods, offer invaluable information about the country’s perception of special education, the disabled population, and what role culture plays in educating individuals with disabilities. Mutual understanding and learning amongst educators in this field is critical to the development of programs that will meet the unique needs of diverse populations.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
A Tough Start
I arrived in Gainesville, Florida, 2 hours late, today! I flew from Nashville to Atlanta only to taxi the runway for 45 minutes. After a mad dash from concord B to concord D I was met with utter disdain. The lady working the Delta counter shook her head in disappointment as she told me the flight to Gainesville just closed. She waited for an explanation for my tardiness in the same manner I have displayed when one of my students casually enters my classroom 2 full minutes after the bell has rang. The shower of sweat on my face and the obvious panic in my voice must not have made any impression. I immediately explained that I just arrived from Nashville. After a long sigh and few quick key strokes from behind her counter she presented me with another ticket. The next flight to Gainesville would leave in an hour. That will work! After making my way to concourse C, locating my new gate, and picking up some lunch I began anticipating my boarding call. Instead an announcement was made explaining some tires on the aircraft needed to be changed before we could leave. Another 45 minutes a few tires later I was back on a plane. Upon arriving in Gainesville I was met with a message from my husband to hail a taxi and proceed to the University of Florida. I walked into a classroom in Emerson Hall 20 minutes later, with all my luggage in hand, to meet a room full of teachers from across the country.