Emily Robinson | GLP Uganda

Emily Robinson, a primary school teacher in Alloa, was one of GLP’s youngest-ever participants and the experience reinforced for her that, although she does not have many years of experience under her belt, she has experience and insight that can truly have an impact.

She had volunteered in churches and schools in Uganda between school and university for two weeks. Reflecting upon that time however, she realised that there was little in the way of lasting impact from her actions and she gained more than she shared.

“My original trip to Uganda had really developed my own perceptions and I loved the country. I was determined that if I ever returned I would do something that was more collaborative, impactful and meaningful. GLP was the perfect opportunity.”

Emily’s colleagues Kerry McGirr and Gavin Richardson had travelled to Rwanda with GLP in 2016 and were confident she would benefit from the opportunity to join a network of global teachers.

“As teachers, one of the best ways to develop our practice is through engaging in professional dialogue with others who work in education, but we rarely have opportunities to do this beyond our school cluster or Local Authority. Having the opportunity to spend time living and working alongside teachers in a completely different culture allows you to see the common joys and challenges as well as the differences between education in another setting, and to share and develop your understandings.”

Emily is now promoting global citizenship in her classroom, encouraging critical enquiry and supporting pupils to think in a more resourceful, problem-solving manner.

Emily’s other observations from her GLP experience:

“Children in Uganda and Scotland are more similar than different, set apart by their experiences and culture, not by what it fundamentally means to be a child. They have favourite subjects, least favourite subjects, enjoy playing games with their friends, have wonderful imaginations and problem-solving skills. They all can be silly when they’re bored in class, but all want a chance to share during lessons which they find engaging.”

“GLP has made me stop underestimating myself as the ‘new’ teacher and see that I have skills and knowledge worth sharing. It has made me stop putting myself in a box of what I think I am capable of, and to try to step outside of my comfort zone to see what opportunities I find there.”

“GLP is a unique, and invaluable experience through which you will learn to develop skills which you don’t even realise you have. It is an unmissable opportunity to spend time immersed in and learning from another culture in a sustainable and purposeful way, as you share collegiately with teachers in East Africa. You get to be part of a network of global teachers who will inspire and challenge your professional and personal development.”