Emma hailed for volunteer work

Kiltoom’s Emma Mannion (right), was honoured this week for her work as a cultural-exchange teacher in the United States. Emma was honoured for her work as a cultural-exchange teacher in the United States. Emma has been highly recognised in her school district and community for her outstanding contributions as an effective teacher who has brought different perspectives and instruction activities into the classroom. Emma, who graduated from the University of Limerick in 1996, went to the US as a teacher with VIF, and teaches students about life in Ireland. At the end of her three-year visa, she will return to Ireland to share what she has learned about America with students, colleagues, friends and family. Information Each of Emma’s seventh-grade math classes at Five Forks Middle School, near Atlanta, Georgia, is named after an Irish province. Students in Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connacht know all about their regions, and each class has its own notice board – filling her classroom with information and descriptions of her native Ireland. This is just one way that Emma, a third-term VIF teacher, promotes a greater understanding and appreciation of international culture, particularly her own Irish culture, on a daily basis. She views maths as an international language, introducing students to mathematicians from ancient Europe to the present day. Mannion starts each class with a mathematical warm-up, followed by a class discussion on current affairs. As part of these discussions, Mannion relates current events to math concepts such as statistics and probability, making learning relevant for her students. She used her previous athletic experience as head coach of the boys’ basketball team. In that role, Mannion learned more about US culture, including the differences between basketball playing style and vocabulary in the United States and Ireland. She also learned a new playing schedule and learned that US parents are very involved in their children’s sports teams. Speaking of her experience, Emma said, ‘Teaching in America has opened my eyes to a new education system and has given me interesting opportunities. Everything I have learned in Gwinnett County, especially relating to technology, grading and testing, gifted education and working with a large staff and student body, will be a huge benefit to me in the future in any school in the world.’ Assistant Principal at Five Forks Middle School, Colleen Ulrich said,  ‘Emma Mannion is a top-notch educator who has infused our school community with many cultural contributions. In leaving her native country to expand her dream of educating students across the globe, Ms. Mannion has exhibited a passion found only in true educators. She is a valuable member of our school and an asset to our community.’