Interview with the Global Goals Educator Task Force and MISYCS Workshop Leaders, Ada McKim and Mareike Hachemer
I’m Annabella, a member of the MISYCS planning team. I recently interviewed Ada McKim and Mareike Hachemer about their upcoming workshops at the MIS Youth Climate Summit.
Ada, can you tell us a bit about #TeachSDGs?
Ada: The Global Goals Educator Task Force is an all-volunteer worldwide network of teachers united by a single mission: to get the UN Sustainable Development Goals into the lesson plans of every teacher on Earth. It officially launched in January 2017 and is now engaged in several mission-related activities, including PD sessions, UN panel speakers (like Mareike), partnerships with numerous education organizations, and regular blog or Twitter celebrations of those who #TeachSDGs.
Ada + Mareike, what do you hope can be achieved, globally, in education within the next 10 years?
Ada: I hope that teachers will find themselves increasingly liberated from restrictive curricula that fail to prioritize global events and issues. Such an educational shift would engage and empower students to become active global citizens who collaborate across borders to help solve the world’s biggest problems.
Mareike: I hope we’ll shift towards an education that focuses on purpose and action, that connects subjects and people and teaches students how to achieve goals for a better world. I hope we are turning our schools more and more into places for happy, active people.
Ada + Mareike, what inspired you to be a teacher?
Ada: I first decided to be a teacher when I was only ten years old. That desire never wavered. I saw in education the means to help a lot of people at once — people who could go on to be helpers themselves. I’m also inspired by stories and storytellers; I try to bring that method of engagement into my work as often as possible.
Mareike: I wasn’t sure I wanted to become a teacher. I wasn’t sure whether I’d be able to provide good education. So I tried 60 other jobs first (lots of them related to teaching) and then became a teacher anyway because it combined my interests: people, languages, cultures, community.
Ada + Mareike: What do you think is your greatest achievement?
Ada: In 2010 my World Issues class partnered with orphans in Uganda on a project that involved Skype sessions. The experience was so powerful that I built a team and started bringing other schools into the initiative. Over seven years, nearly 100 schools and thousands of students across North America altered their lesson plans and opened their hearts to a more global perspective of education and human connection.
Mareike: I’m proud of the connections to global educators that I and we as Global Educator Task Force have acquired. They allow us to be connected to education in all parts of the world, to collaborate, to spread the idea that we need to #TeachSDGs and support active global citizenship.
Ada, what will you bring to students attending our climate summit?
Ada: Passion for our work. A few anecdotes about leadership and learning from failures. Statistics and stories of new technologies that hold the power to make anyone feel more hopeful about the world.
Mareike: What will you bring to teachers attending our climate summit?
Mareike: Hopefully, I can help them (re)discover their awareness of the immense impact their work has on the world. I’ll bring them stories of other teachers and space to exchange ideas of how they can base learning on the Global Goals.
Ada + Mareike: What do you hope to get out of our climate summit?
Ada: The realities of climate change science, legislation and innovation are shifting with each passing day. I look forward to learning a lot more about the issue and gaining new insights on how to bring the topic to my students and the #TeachSDGs network.
Mareike: I couldn’t agree more. Thank you so much for having us! We are looking forward to working with students and teachers in München.
Thank you so much for the interview, Mareike and Ada! We look forward to meeting you in person at the #MISYCS!