Parkway offers faculty the opportunity for global competency

To combat ignorance and cultural indifference in our district walls, Parkway Career & Technical Education, Choice Programs and Global Studies & World Languages Coordinator Amy Belding and Talent Development Coordinator Amy Geurkink-Coats coordinated the Global Competency Cohort to push for better understanding of global issues prominent in our world.  

“After studying the Finnish education system in the summer of 2016 and visiting schools in Helsinki, I came back empowered and charged to bring the work of global competency to Parkway students,” Belding said.

Three years ago, faculty members around five schools in the Parkway district joined forces to cultivate acceptance and awareness among teachers and students. Attending meetings and developing plans for action, teachers Amy Cohen and Debra Klevens, as well as Principal Beth Middendorf have also joined the efforts.

I am inspired by this project because I think having a global mindset is imperative for our students to be successful in a world that seems to be getting smaller and more interconnected. It’s important to recognize and value other nationalities and cultures,” Cohen said. “We have great diversity in our school and this project is a chance to learn more about it.”

At West and Central high schools this video was shared with the faculty in order for them to hear first-hand experiences from their students regarding their personal background and culture. Further steps are being taken to fuel the learning about diversity and inclusiveness.

“Our school’s next steps is to create a student panel so our staff can hear more from them and their perspective about global issues here at West,” Cohen said.

As stated by the goal of the project leaders, this group of educators and administrators will work together to provide a platform that supports collaboration among leaders in Parkway, as well as connecting to other institutions and organizations that prepare students and teachers to be better-educated citizens.

“Students today are more diverse and global than their teachers ever were, so providing opportunities for Parkway teachers to learn and grow alongside their students will help them in the future,” Belding said.