UTSA | COEHD | University of Texas at San Antonio | College of Edcuation and Human Development
Sat, December 14, 2019
COEHDnews

COEHD alumnus John Behnke receives Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms program grant

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John Behnke, College of Education and Human Development alumnus ‘03 and teacher in Northside Independent School District, has been offered a Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program grant. Behnke is one of approximately 76 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad through the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program in 2019-2020. Recipients of Fulbright grants are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential. “I feel so honored to have been chosen out of more than 430 teachers from around the country and US territories,” Behnke said. “I think that the efforts I have put into being an engaging educator are being recognized, as I've always worked to make my classroom a different place for students.”


Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms is a year-long professional development opportunity for U.S. elementary, middle, and high school teachers to develop skills for preparing students for a competitive global economy. The program equips teachers to bring an international perspective to their schools through targeted training, experience abroad, and global collaboration. “This program will enable me to literally bring different places to my classroom, campus, and district,” Behnke said. “This validates the ways I've tried to challenge my students to do difficult things, keep learning, and keep an open perspective about the world, from past to present.”


Behnke wants to share his experience with other teachers in NISD to help bring a more globalized understanding of the world to other classrooms. He said, “I hope to bring a better understanding of how people just like my students live and learn in other countries, since most of our students won't get to see that for themselves. I want to encourage broader thinking, with a more understanding--and curious--outlook of the world and other people.”


Recalling his learning experience as a UTSA history major, Behnke said, “I learned to love history more, but the actual art of teaching became much more real as I went through the program. I can still remember specific lessons and activities that I learned which I implemented in my classroom.” He credits Dr. Laura Mitchell as a mentor. “Dr. Mitchell was particularly helpful in my formation as an educator, as she helped me to see history as a story to be told to students, rather than content to be taught,” he said.


Behnke has some advice for future students who want to pursue an education degree: “Do it, and don’t quit!” he said. “The fact that we are cautioned to give it five years before deciding if teaching is for us should tell you to take the preparation seriously. It’s a calling, a purpose, more than a job, and making it who you are as a person is vital. No other job is more important!” He also advises future students to seek mentors at every stage of their education. “Use the resources the university provides (most notably the people) to inform you on this journey.”


Reflecting on his accomplishment, Behnke said, “I hope that such news illustrates the value that the COEHD program provides to its graduates, even years later.” 





John Behnke

UTSA College of Education and Human Development

Phone: 210-458-4370