“We must pour our energy into what we do between 9am and 3pm. It is between those hours we can have the greatest impact upon our children – GLP reinforced this belief.”
Claire Ionta is a primary school teacher in South Lanarkshire. She travelled to Masindi in Uganda in 2018. Having volunteered in Africa previously, Claire was looking for an opportunity to harness her skillsets as a teacher to return to support communities in a sustainable and meaningful way.
Having been a teacher for four years, Claire had seen the administrative demands of the teaching role put herself and colleagues under strain.
“There are many demands on a teacher in terms of paperwork and accountability. However, this is not the most important aspect of our job and I want to put as much positive energy into my pupils and their development as possible. I will try to keep this at the forefront of my mind and not become too pre-occupied with all the other demands.”
Claire was driven to embark on GLP as she saw it as a way to engage in meaningful professional development, while also allowing her to work with different teachers within a different culture.
“Teaching is teaching – regardless of where you are. Good teaching practice looks the same regardless of the curriculum, culture or language. The way you interact with the children and the enthusiasm you have for your craft is key to success.”
Claire’s other observations from her GLP experience:
“GLP tests and develops your resilience, creativity and resourcefulness and has also made me a more confident teacher. In my opinion, the programme differs from traditional CLPL because it takes place over a long period of time. The learning begins at selection day and continues long after placement as you bring things back from what you learned on placement and also continue to reflect upon things differently against the backdrop of new information and experiences.”
“The way I look at resources has changed since working in Uganda. I am enjoying working in a more sustainable way and am engaging my pupils in this and hoping to alter how they look at resources around them and to think more globally.”
“I am also totally inspired by the work of Redearth Education and perhaps one day would like to become more heavily involved with the development of education internationally.”
“GLP truly was a shared learning experience and I certainly learned just as much, probably more, than I was able to share.”