A transformational teacher trip to Rwanda
Rwanda Experience

Carrollwood Day School's Upper School French Teacher, Monique Olson, recently embarked on an enlightening journey to Kigali, Rwanda, as part of our first Round Square teacher exchange experience. From March 1st to 16th, 2024, Monique immersed herself in the vibrant culture and educational landscape of Rwanda, forging meaningful connections and gaining invaluable insights into global education.

Monique's experience at Green Hills Academy (GHA) left a profound impact, inspiring her to integrate innovative teaching strategies and approaches into her own classroom at CDS. From incorporating digital research tools like Kiddle to implementing reflection journals for student self-assessment, Monique is eager to enrich her students' learning experiences with lessons learned from her time at GHA.

During her week at GHA, Monique delved into the high school language department, where she immersed herself in French and Kinyarwanda instruction. She was struck by the school's emphasis on language proficiency and cultural celebration, particularly during GHA's annual Kinyarwanda festival, where traditional dances and drumming performances captivated the audience.

Moreover, Monique's exploration of Rwanda reinforced the profound value of language education and conservation principles, igniting her passion for instilling a deeper appreciation for language diversity and environmental stewardship among her students at CDS.

As Monique reflects on her transformative journey, she expresses heartfelt gratitude to CDS for this life-changing opportunity. Her experiences in Rwanda have not only enriched her teaching practices but have also fostered a deeper appreciation for global perspectives and cultural diversity.

Monique's journey to Rwanda exemplifies CDS's commitment to providing educators with immersive experiences that enhance their teaching and enrich the learning experiences of our students. We look forward to seeing the positive impact of Monique's journey on her students' educational journey at Carrollwood Day School.

"As a French teacher, I am expected to teach my students about francophone cultures around the world. I now have a much better understanding of a francophone African country and its culture, as I have heard its music, seen its dances and art, and tasted its food. I have already started to incorporate this into my lessons. Also, one of the themes that we cover in the French Diploma Programme is called Sharing the Planet. The successful conservation programs put in place in Rwanda will make the perfect example of protecting animals and their natural habitats and of locals coexisting with the wildlife. I believe that this experience will impact my teaching in ways that I don’t even yet realize. I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to visit Rwanda, to expand my worldview, and to meet the wonderful people there. Thank you CDS!" Monique Olson

For more photos from her amazing trip, click here.