Local Teacher Accepted To Prestigious Fulbright Program

POCOMOKE – A Pocomoke Middle School teacher has been accepted to a prestigious year-long fellowship program.

Brian Cook, an English language arts teacher and department chair at Pocomoke Middle School, is one of 76 teachers from the U.S. to be selected for the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) Program in 2018-2019.

The Fulbright TGC Program is an intensive fellowship program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and designed for teachers to explore the themes and applications for global education in the classrooms, school and community.

Cook said he applied for the Fulbright TGC program last winter, but was surprised last week to receive an email with his acceptance.

“Sometimes when you look into a program like that, you don’t think you will get into it,” he said. “Fulbright is not like completing a master’s program or being involved in an improvement committee. It’s on a global level.”

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As part of the paid program, Cook will participate in a ten-week online professional development program beginning in the fall, followed by a global education symposium in Washington, D.C., and a two- to three-week international field experience, in which he will travel to another country to participate in seminars and classroom observations, contribute to discussions and collaborate with international teachers.

Through digital literacy lessons, Cook said his students had the opportunity to connect with classrooms in more than 20 countries last year.

“It’s crazy because I will have an opportunity to possibly visit classrooms in one of those countries now,” he said.

Cook said he expects the program to provide him lessons and experiences not found in the classroom.

“When I think of education, sometimes I think we get stuck in our hole of expertise, whether that’s within our school, within our county or even with our state,” he said. “This will give me an opportunity to look at education and literacy from a global perspective.”

Ultimately, Cook said that lessons learned from the Fulbright TGC program will ultimately be used to bring an international perspective to Pocomoke Middle School.

“It’s breathtaking to be able to look at literacy on a global level and see if I can use that to have an impact on students in Worcester County Public Schools,” he said.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.