Amy Wilson | GLP Rwanda

Amy Wilson, a primary school teacher in Aviemore, has long been a proponent for outdoor learning but lacked the confidence to share her passion and knowledge with colleagues.

Amy travelled to Rwanda in 2018 in a bid to develop her skillset as a teacher of Learning for Sustainability and with the hope that she could make a difference within the education system of her host community.
During CPD week, Amy facilitated an outdoor learning workshop with her fellow GLP practitioner Laura Gauld.

“The local teachers responded with such enthusiasm and spoke positively about how accessible the strategies were for teachers in their communities as they required little or no resources.
“In the past I’ve often worried that teachers who are older and/or more experienced than me will not value my contribution but through the sessions in CPD week I was able to feel more confident that this is not the case.”

Upon her return, Amy delivered a workshop at the Highland Outdoor Learning Festival.

She is now weaving aspects of Learning for Sustainability throughout her practice across all curricular areas and is making a conscious effort to reduce, reuse and recycle resources which is aligned with that agenda.

“I am now trying my best to encourage an attitude of gratitude where we look after and share the resources we already have. I would be embarrassed for my Rwandan colleagues, some who have nothing more than their lab coat, a single textbook and a box of chalk to do their job, to see how well resourced my classroom is. There are probably very few (if any) concepts I can’t actually teach without bought resources because I can use my creativity to find a way!”

Amy’s class are already enjoying learning about her Rwandan experience with reading books from Kigali and wooden spoons from Ruhengeri in our mud kitchen. They have had rich conversations around the world map in my classroom as a direct result of the children’s curiosity about the resources and created a class charter based on the UNCRC rights to be safe, learn, play and receive help.

Amy’s other observations from her time in Rwanda:

“All children are curious and keen to learn! They ask lots of questions. They have high aspirations…from doctors and pilots to teachers and soldiers, one Rwandan child also told me she wanted to be the president! They love to play! They are all excited by technology such as mobile phones albeit Scottish children are more likely to have one of their own.”

“I met a young lady on the bus who really inspired me who was studying politics at college, wanted to travel the world and hopes to become a teacher. My encounter with her got me thinking; similar path, hopes and dreams but different struggles to overcome. What will this mean for her? I really hope she can find the means to fulfil her ambitions and yet again I find myself full of gratitude to lead the life I do. “

“I was constantly reassured by the effectiveness of The Wood Foundation in ensuring every participant had a network of support including another global teacher to work alongside in community, past participants from Scotland as Team Leads and School Based Teacher Trainers from Rwanda. For me Rwanda was a transformative experience and I would encourage any teacher with an interest in Learning for Sustainability and Global Citizenship to apply now!”