Teaching Knows No Borders
Three Landmark High School teachers, Michelle Boucher, Doug Musco, and Doug Walker, traveled to Mozambique over March break and worked with more than 100 teachers at three schools. The classes they visited ranged from small and intimate (think Landmark) to large and loud.
The Landmark team taught their colleagues about conducting open-ended projects with their students, making their classrooms fair and ethical, classroom management and social contracts, and much more. The presentations intentionally involved input from the Mozambican teachers, and the Landmark team also gained new ideas and insights.
“It was a privilege to be part of the Landmark team, to share our teaching methodologies and philosophies and to learn from our Mozambique colleague,” said Doug Musco. “It was a wonderful reminder that students are students anywhere in the world and education truly transcends borders.”
The trip was Musco’s first with Landmark. Boucher, however, made the trek in 2019 as well.
“Going to Mozambique for the second year is a row, and getting to reunite with so many of the teachers and students I’d met the year before, was truly incredible,” Boucher said. “Seeing teachers light up about a new idea we’d brought, and enthusiastically sharing their own ideas, is something that never gets old. It was phenomenal.”
In one of the schools, the Landmark teachers went into a variety of different classes, ranging from a first grade phonics class to a tenth grade physics class. In one tenth grade class that was studying the U.S. Civil War, Musco learned about the Mozambique Civil War from students and then facilitated a fabulous discussion, drawing big picture comparisons between both country’s struggles—a powerful learning experience for everyone!
“We went into classes just in the Christian Academy of Mozambique, which is an English-speaking school. I taught first-grade phonics, a lesson about the Earth to fourth graders, and a lesson about taste to third graders,” Boucher explained. “In the other two schools, we had ‘teacher workshops,’ similar to professional development sessions, where teachers came and watched a presentation. We presented with a translator, as all of those teachers spoke Portuguese.”
The Landmark teachers presented the Mozambique teachers with 130 bags of school supplies, which included Post-It Notes, dice, highlighters, rulers, notebooks, and more. Members of the Landmark community donated money to buy the supplies.