Visiting Teacher Gives Albert Lea Students Lesson in International Relations

Updated: 04/14/2014 11:09 PM
Created: 04/14/2014 7:18 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- It’s a real-life case of international relations.

"This is my first time in class experience in another country," David Goodchild told us.

There was a long-awaited greeting on the white board in Mark Nechanecky's fourth grade classroom. It said “Mr. Goodchild has arrived.”

"We've traveled here to see what really happens on the ground," teacher David Goodchild said.

When Albert Lea elementary school teacher Mark Nechanicky was accepted into the Fulbright International Teacher Exchange, he waited two years for a foreign match. British teacher David Goodchild became that match.  It came around the same time of the federal government sequester.

"So after 67 years they've canceled the program," Mark Nechanicky explained.

But the US Embassy in London paid the cost of David Goodchild's visit,  and he'll spend this week at Lakeview Elementary school in Albert Lea.

“We've been skyping with his class, we exchanged traditional letters, e-mails and different things, so the kids have been excited all year long for his visit," Lakeview teacher Mark Nechanicky said.

“I think it's really important for students to realize they're going to be out working with people all over the world."

“I think it's important for them to understand one day they could easily come to work here," David Goodchild added.

“We've been talking and comparing and contrasting the education system," Albert Lea teacher Mark Nechanicky said.

“One of the differences, i think, is schools seem to be more of them in England, and smaller."

“In the UK your chronological age dictates which grade you go into, there's no moving forward or backward, and the ability range we have within one class is massive," British teacher david Goodchild said.

And whether it’s in the UK or the US

"We just want to teach the children and prepare them for later life," David Goodchild told us.

“I think after this visit here we're going to have lots of ideas we can do for years to come," Albert Lea teacher Mark Nechanicky said.

“It just brings it to life that children in America do the same things as in the UK ... the reality is we are all just the same," David Goodchild added.