South Africa

Where in the world is America????

My second day of class was just as amazing as the first! I got a chance to talk to my students about where I am from. My mentor teacher started a social studies lesson by having the students draw a map of the world and how they pictured it to be in their minds. Surprisingly (or not) my students had a very hard time with this activity. They complained about not know where any other continents or countries were located than South Africa. They were mostly only familiar and aware of their own country and continent. I guess in their minds the rest of the world did not matter or was not any concern to them. Or if they or someone they know had not visited another country or part of the world then they did not have to be responsible for knowing its location. Now I can’t criticize them for their lack of awareness because many people in this whole world are just like them. They are only concerned or aware of what is familiar or immediately around them. I know many American children (and adults) that barely know outside Atlanta let alone across the ocean. So, as I walked around watching what my students were drawing on their maps I found out that the great majority of them had no idea where America was located in relation to Africa. I found America somewhere floating on the most eastern part of our world where China is usually located. Or it was a very very small country compared to Africa located way up north where Europe is found. It was very interesting to see that my students where aware of their world as I had previously thought they were.

During this time that I spend at my school, I hope to help my students step out of their convenient boxes and become more aware and open to the world in which they live. It is important for them to know that they are not only citizens of Grahamstown or even Africa, but citizens of the world! So I also challenge you to learn something new about a far off place whether it be by reading a book or getting on a plane and flying 3000 miles to visit, just widen your horizons and watch God enlarge your coast line!
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