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How will you make your mark as a global citizen?

How will you make your mark as a global citizen?

At a symposium last week, our 8th graders were posed with a question.

How will you make your mark as a global citizen?

The symposium kicked off our 8th grader's capstone. (If "capstone" is a word you only first heard in college, yes, me too.) The event brought together an esteemed panel of thought leaders and activists and change-making "doers" all leaving their impact as global citizens - covering topics from microfinance to combatting human trafficking and crimes against humanity to immigration law to dance to renewable energy.

The three incredible Middle School faculty innovators and magic makers who brought the symposium to life took time to share more about it with me.

  • Katie Williams - 8th Grade Lead (Community Service and Capstone) and Individuals and Societies Lead 
  • Lauren Cantor - International Baccaleaurate Coordinator 
  • Dessie Hughes - Language and Literature and Student Support Lead  

Q: What is the 8th-grade capstone?

A: The 8th-grade capstone is a new project this year. It is a chance to celebrate who 8th graders have become during their time as both members of the ISDenver community and as members of an IB Global School. Students will have a deeper understanding of what being a global citizen means through Individuals and Societies, Language and Literature, and their Language Acquisition. The hope is that students will formulate what it means to be a global citizen to them as individuals.

The summative project will be part of the Spring Showcase.  Students will utilize their research skills to create a deep understanding of an issue that they are passionate about.  Students may choose: 

  • To take their local community service project and analyze it from a global perspective
  • Integrate it with an aspect of their upcoming international service trips to Belize, Panama, and the Dominican Republic
  • Personal experience 
  • From memoirs studies in Lang Lit (Language and Literature)
  • Court cases/Civil issues studied in Indi Socs (Individuals and Societies)
  • Current events

At the spring showcase students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their learning in a variety of formats, including: 

  • Analyzing Political Cartoons
  • Debate
  • Speech
  • Film/Documentary
  • Arts
  • Persuasive Letter to an Official
  • Promposal to Board or Panel
  • Publish a Memoir
  • Website

The capstone allows students to move beyond their first-semester service projects to explore with a more global lens.

Q: How was the idea for the symposium born?

A: We really wanted to inspire our students to have a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Global Citizen with purpose and authenticity. We wanted to ensure that students had a wide array of perspectives so they could see that being a global citizen can transpire into infinite careers and opportunities. 

Q: What was your overall objective for the symposium?

A: We wanted to do these three things:

  1. Inspire students to be empathetic global citizens and positive change makers.
  2. Create enthusiasm for the upcoming interdisciplinary unit of Civics and Memoirs of Change Makers.
  3. Help students to create their own definition of “global citizen”.

Q: Why is this personally/professionally important to you?

Working in education it is very easy to get caught up in the day to day grind. A project like this, reminds me as to why I am here. My purpose as an educator is to support our students in their journey to make the world a better place. This symposium embodies every facet of this purpose. 

- Lauren Cantor

Projects like this are the reason I became an educator. Students at ISDenver are future change makers, many of whom have this incredible gift of speaking multiple languages.  As a team, if we can inspire students to be globally minded empathetic adults who think creatively, follow their passions and actively try to make the world a better place, then we have succeeded.

- Katie Williams

One of our panelists mentioned to the children that they are our future.  We’ve heard this over and over, of course; but, it is no less true. This is why I teach.  I deeply care about our children of today and tomorrow -and the adults they will become.

- Dessie Hughes

Standing behind the camera throughout the afternoon, I was able to mask my tears. I love our Middle School as anyone who has known me for five minutes can attest to. But this was it. The reminder of why I do what I do and of why it all matters. The question of, How will you make your mark as a global citizen?, is a powerful one for anyone of any age, but consider the difference it might have made in your own life had you been trusted with the maturity of even considering it as an 8th grader. It is last week's symposium that reminded me once again of the immense hope I have in the future. ISDenver students are truly making the world a more compassionate and curious place.




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