Our Global-Minded Faculty
Travel is essential to Country Day’s broad approach to global mindedness. Grants and sabbaticals, funded through our endowment, parent support groups, and other organizations, make it possible for our teachers to pursue knowledge through firsthand experiences all over the globe. They bring that experience back to their classrooms, broadening the global perspectives of their students.
China Teacher Exchange
In 2007, Country Day was the first independent school to offer a full teacher exchange between a North Carolina high school and a high school from the People’s Republic of China. Country Day has sent five Upper School faculty to teach at our sister school, the High School Affiliated to Nanjing Normal University, and Country Day has received eight of their teachers. Read one teacher’s story:
Kathy Babula, Middle School Spanish Teacher
Kathy Babula, has taught Middle School Spanish at Country Day since 1987. As a student exchange trip leader and through professional development grants, Kathy has traveled to Mexico City, Cabo San Lucas, and Cuernavaca, Mexico; Southampton, England; and Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia. In 2012, she traveled to China to participate in a four-week exchange with our sister school, the High School Affiliated to Nanjing Normal University.
“To me, the opportunity to travel as a teacher is another giant step in my ‘World Peace’ effort."
“While in China, I had the privilege of being the first foreign teacher to ever step foot on the campus of a boarding school in Suqian. After teaching English to eighth graders for a day, I came away knowing that adolescent learners are much the same all over the world. While the culture and classroom demeanor is very different in a Chinese school, I was reminded that enthusiasm for learning is a gift we teachers hold in our hands to give our students, no matter where they are from.
“To me, the opportunity to travel as a teacher is another giant step in my ‘World Peace’ effort. What better way to promote acceptance and understanding of cultures than to have a teacher lead the way with stories about visiting the Buddhist temples with all their auspicious symbols, or about eating foods cooked a certain way due to dietary beliefs, or about having conversations with people who don’t speak the same language but are willing to smile, nod, and try to cross that shared bridge?
“Teachers who have met these challenges encourage their students to go out and do the same. This, to me, is the best outcome imaginable. Through these travel opportunities for Country Day faculty, world peace is just around the corner!”