As the 2022–23 school year comes to a close, we are incredibly grateful for the dedication that Participate Learning’s partner schools, local teachers, and Ambassador Teachers have shown to global education. Their passion for sharing global perspectives in the classroom ensures students are prepared to succeed in an ever-changing world.
This year, Participate Learning recognized three educators with the 2023 Teacher of the Year awards. Each awardee is a master of instruction, builder of inclusive culture, and initiator of leadership and impact. They build global competencies in their students, integrating global issues, current events, and a celebration of different cultures into the curriculum. They readily share their expertise and resources with others. And on top of all that, these teachers and their students are making the world a better place, extending their learning outside school walls.
Take a look at the impact these educators have on their students and communities below.
Congratulations and a sincere “thank you” to our three winners!
Meet Our 2023 Teachers of the Year
Ana H. is a fourth-grade Spanish dual language immersion teacher at Bethany Elementary in Rockingham County, North Carolina. Originally from Colombia, Ana has had a lifelong passion for global education.
She provides students with diverse learning experiences, from field trips around the state to guest speakers to cooperative learning groups. She encourages students to work together to identify and come up with solutions to issues facing their community and the world.
Ana shares her culture and love of learning with the broader school community, too. She offers Spanish to students and teachers outside the dual language program. She shares her culture by organizing school events like a celebration for Día de las Velitas, in which families tried traditional Colombian foods and participated in a hands-on presentation.
Ana is also a leader and mentor to other educators. She designed a professional development course for her school district centered around the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. She also completed her master’s degree in education at Elon University this spring and said she has enjoyed developing as a leader through her coursework.
“By modeling leadership and engaging in initiatives that promote positive change, I can help make a difference in my school, learning community, and beyond,” said Ana.
She provides many opportunities for her students to share their learning with their school and the broader community. Her students gave cultural presentations to younger students throughout the year. They also participated in Participate Learning’s Model UN with hundreds of other students, communicating only in Spanish throughout the entire event. Paola explains that these opportunities, and others like them, help her students see the effect they can have on the world.
“Students can show their learning and growth, demonstrate their creativity, and gain confidence in their abilities,” said Paola. “It also allows them to make an impact and be part of a larger community.”
Paola is an education leader, helping to enhance global learning by serving on her school’s global committee. She is also a member of the Conexiones advisory team for Participate Learning, providing crucial feedback on curriculum and classroom resources.
Cecilia C. is a Spanish world language teacher at Ligon Magnet Middle School in Wake County, North Carolina. Originally from Argentina, she is a standout educator in her school and district.
Cecilia is the head of her school’s World Languages department, and she shares her Argentinian cultural traditions with other teachers, students, and parents. Throughout the school year, Cecilia’s students participated in virtual exchanges, took field trips to see Latin American music and art, and designed global action projects to improve the world around them.
“Integrating global themes into language and academic instruction allows students to develop as global citizens and gives them the tools they need to become change-makers in their communities and beyond,” said Cecilia.
Cecilia nurtures her students’ academic and social-emotional skills by instilling confidence and empathy through learning experiences. Students not only learn a language in her classroom, but they learn to respect and value differences in others.
Again, congratulations to the 2023 Teachers of the Year! To learn more about the effort and impact of these educators, as well as our four Honorable Mention recipients, visit our awards thread on Twitter.
Participate Learning would like to thank all our Ambassador Teachers, U.S. partner teachers, and school partners for another successful school year. We are so grateful for your commitment to uniting our world through global learning. Thank you for educating the next generation of thoughtful and engaged citizens who will be ready to succeed and make a positive impact.
If you’d like to learn more about teaching in the U.S. with Participate Learning, see our requirements and application process.