Hosting 27 foreign embassies, Conakry, Guinea, is a thin peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean on the western shores of Africa. Home to nearly 2 million people, it’s also where many international diplomats raise their children – and teacher Gladina George-Pratt ’08, M.S.Ed., makes it her goal that these international students recognize the significance and value of their fellow classmates’ national identities.
Originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa, George-Pratt has taught for the past 17 years “a community of learners,” she says, “who engage in discovery and invention, reflection, and problem solving” at the American International School of Conakry. Currently a teacher for grades 2 and 3, George-Pratt focuses on “an international curriculum, using diverse teaching methods so my international student body will be lifelong learners with the knowledge, creativity, ethical values and sense of worth necessary for them to flourish in a rapidly changing global society.”
In this international city, cultural awareness is as much a part of the curriculum as any other subject – maybe even more so. “These students … share ideas about their cultures during school-wide units and programs,” she says. “Even parents contribute and participate…. Being somewhere we can freely talk and share our different cultures, customs and traditions, and … religious beliefs is a very good thing.”
In a city that’s recently seen political unrest, including riots, George-Pratt is determined that education is a key to success. “I am in the right place doing the right thing for students’ welfare.”