#HERITAGETEACHERS // Consuelo Johnson: “I knew that at Heritage I would have a wonderful international experience”

04 December 2020

Consuelo Johnson is a math teacher from North Carolina, United States. She has been working as a teacher for 21 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, specializing in Math, a master’s degree in TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) and is currently working on a master’s in Leadership. This school year, she joined Heritage International Schools as a math teacher.

I took the challenge to come to Moldova when everybody thought it was a foolish idea. I came here for the first time on a study visit. I was impressed how Moldovans display proudly their culture and tradition; it was fascinating.

What attracted me the most at Heritage was the student engagement. I noticed little things that make learning fun and engaging.

As a teacher, my greatest achievement is seeing the success of my students. When I see that they join initiatives, take steps forward or prove to themselves that they can succeed in situations when they didn’t have enough confidence or knowledge, I am very proud of them.

Through my example, my students embrace challenges they never thought of before. I once had a student who was insecure to go study and work abroad, but after seeing my experience with exchange mobilities, my doubts and also my enthusiasm, it encouraged her to take the first step and she was later accepted.

Photo: Kenan Fellows Educational Policy Summit
Thanks to this experience at Heritage, I now understand better my other students in the US, I identify with their emotions, thoughts and I aim to take different, innovative approaches towards them.

One excellent strategy is learning the students. I hold true to the fact that you need to reach the child before you can actually teach him or her something.

When entering the class, I do my best to find out their likes or dislikes, how can we get on the same page, what makes their eyes sparkle. I often monitor their body language and evaluate what type of learners they are, after which I set the tone of the lessons. I also like to use games to challenge their logical thinking.
Photo: Representing Moldova at Worldview Conference / Lora Sinigur, Assistant to Secretary of State
Challenges of the teacher? Well, in the role of a teacher, you face situations when you have to adjust to so many different personalities and that requires a high level of emotional intelligence, patience and responsibility.

The role of the teacher is interesting and rewarding, but it can be challenging sometimes.

A day at Heritage. Teaching is never the same from one day to the next. Each day is a new, unique experience and that fascinates me.
Photo: North Carolina students receveing gifts from Moldovan students
Teachers have all kinds of stories to tell. Especially funny ones. I found out that my students were taking part in a race-car competition and I asked them to invite me also to watch and support them. They were visibly surprised to hear that I also wanted to come, but I didn’t expect them to be so shocked. I told them to believe me, that I would be there with my big board, cheering and supporting them! It was amusing to see my students discover that I also enjoy activities outside school.

My favourite thing at Heritage and one I won’t forget revolves around my relationship with students, how we get along and see positive changes.
Photo: North Carolina - Moldova Bilateral Partnership Book donation
I think about how lucky these young students are today. Believe it or not, it’s a privilege to study in an international school. And I wish more schools could adopt this approach so children could acquire social skills and proper opportunities to become global citizens.

If you ask me about global education, I think it’s a necessity for the modern world and that everybody can benefit from it. I believe that global education will become more prevalent in the school system, in the next years. I genuinely think global education will evolve into an entity that people embrace, providing them with social, cognitive and emotional skills to succeed in the future.
Get to know all our amazing Heritage teachers here.  

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