At Participate Learning, our teachers are ambassadors of their heritages and cultures. They travel from all corners of the world to take part in meaningful exchanges in classrooms in the United States. We believe that our ambassador teachers are among the very best educators in the world and that they leave a long-lasting impact on their students, schools, and communities in the U.S.
Ambassador teachers with Participate Learning grow their students into global leaders who have the knowledge and resources to think globally and act locally, creating positive change in their communities and in the world. Chen Chen is a third-year ambassador teacher from Shenzhen, China. She is currently teaching second grade in a dual language Mandarin classroom at Harrisburg Elementary School in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. Read on to learn more about Chen’s story.
What do you like to do when you have a day off from work?
In my spare time, I love traveling, reading, and cooking.
When did you start learning a second language, and what kept you motivated to learn?
I started learning a second language in middle school. My first English teacher was a beautiful lady inside and out and also an inspiring teacher. She opened a window to a new world for me, and now I am able to do the same for my students. I hope I can bring different cultures and learning experiences to my students.
What’s one thing you wish people knew about your home country?
China is a country with a rich history and has a variety of delicious food!
What’s the next place on your travel bucket list when we can all travel again?
I hope I could go to Kenya when we can travel again. I want to see the Great Migration, which is the largest animal migration in the world. It happens each year across many different ecosystems with millions of animals participating.
What’s your favorite holiday in your country, and how do you celebrate it?
Chinese New Year is my favorite holiday! Chinese New Year is a festival that lasts for fifteen days. We get together with our family and make dumplings, which are my favorite! On the fifteenth day, we have the Lantern Festival. We light and appreciate the lanterns at home and in the streets. It is very beautiful.
What are some ways you teach students in your class about your culture? What do they love hearing about most?
In my class, we celebrate festivals together with their families. My students immerse themselves in Chinese culture and language by decorating our classrooms and enjoying traditional food. My students also love to learn about ancient architecture in China too.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
I have always wanted to be a teacher, and the influence of my first English teacher solidified that calling. Teaching is my ideal job, and I have only ever wanted to be in a classroom with students.
How has being a cultural exchange ambassador changed the way you teach?
I was lucky enough to have the chance to learn from great educators from other countries in the world. The impact they had on me made me want to do the same for students in other countries. Like my former educators, I want to inspire my students to be interested in exploring the world.
Why do you think global education is important in today’s society?
We are living in a global society, so global education is incredibly important. It helps our kids to prepare for future life as a global leader by developing skills like empathy, problem-solving, and cross-cultural communication.
If you had one piece of advice for a new ambassador teacher, what would it be?
Your dream can be as big as this world! Come join us—let’s explore this world together.
Thanks to ambassador teachers like Chen, students have the resources, knowledge, and perspectives needed to be active global leaders in their local communities and make a positive impact on the world around them. For more information on how you, too, can be an ambassador of your culture and change students’ lives for the better, check out our webpage.