Dean Landers is an 11th and 12th grade physics teacher at Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee, Georgia. Anju Gupta is a physics teacher at the Welham Girls’ School in Dehradun, India. Dean and Anju were selected to participate in the Fulbright Teacher Classroom Teacher Exchange Program in the fall of 2011. For the semester, Dean taught in Anju’s classroom in Dehradun, India and Anju taught in Dean’s classroom in Suwanee, Georgia.
Dean had never been to India before the Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange. Once there, he found himself immersed in Indian culture and society. He was thankful to have the opportunity to teach in India due its increasingly visible role in the global community. As a result of the Program, Dean describes himself as a better communicator, a better thinker and a more understanding teacher for his students. Teaching abroad allowed Dean to broaden his perspective of education and understand the global context of his subject area, physics. Dean’s home school of Peachtree High School also benefited from hosting Anju for the semester. He says the school now has a better understanding of India’s role in the global world. Hosting Anju also allowed the students and school to foster international relationships and continued partnerships.
Upon return from the Fulbright Teacher Exchange, Dean has been an active alumnus of the program and helps with program workshops and orientations. In the fall of 2012, Dean was selected as one of six finalists for the Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Teacher of the Year.