At Participate Learning, we believe that our ambassador teachers are among the very best educators around the globe. They travel from all corners to take part in meaningful exchanges and open the world to their classrooms in the United States. By acting as ambassadors of their culture and heritage, they are exposing students to new perspectives, which strengthens skills such as empathy, understanding, problem-solving, and cross-cultural communication.
Our ambassador teachers leave a lasting impact by developing students into global leaders who have the knowledge and resources to think globally and act locally, creating positive change in their communities. Kaylee Dos Santos is a second-year ambassador teacher who is originally from Johannesburg, South Africa. She is currently teaching kindergarten at Cliffdale Elementary School in Cumberland County, North Carolina. Read on to learn more about Kaylee’s story.
What’s the most interesting place you have traveled to and why?
Thailand is the most interesting place I’ve traveled to—the people are incredibly humble and friendly, and the culture is very intriguing. In terms of future travels, I would also love to go visit Greece. It has been on my travel bucket list for a while.
What’s one thing you wish people knew about your home country?
I wish people knew how beautiful it actually is.
What’s your favorite holiday in your country, and how do you celebrate it?
Christmas is my favorite holiday! We celebrate in South Africa by eating lots of delicious food, exchanging gifts, and spending time with extended family. It is quite similar to how it is celebrated in the United States.
What are some ways you teach students in your class about your culture? What do they love hearing about most?
I teach my students about my culture through open discussions, musical activities, and videos highlighting important aspects of South Africa. My children love hearing me speak Afrikaans, which is my home language.
What inspired you to become a teacher?
More than anything else, my love and passion for children inspired me to be in this profession.
How has being a cultural exchange ambassador changed the way you teach?
I have learned so many new and innovative teaching styles, as well as how to incorporate technology and 21st-century skills into my classroom. This has made my teaching more effective and broadened my skills and creativity.
Why do you think global education is important in today’s society?
I think it is vitally important that children know there is more to the world than just what they see in their immediate environment. I believe global education teaches children to respect differences in people and helps them to understand that we live in a vast and culturally diverse world with endless learning possibilities.
If you had one piece of advice for a new ambassador teacher, what would it be?
My advice would be to persevere and not give up. It can be tough at the beginning to adjust, and you might even feel a longing for home, but if you take it one step at a time, give yourself grace, and remind yourself of your purpose for choosing to do this, it will turn out to be a liberating experience. You will grow and mature so much as a person and teacher from this experience.
Do you want to learn how to develop your students into global leaders like Kaylee? Download this profile of a global leader infographic or watch this video to learn more about the benefits of global citizenship. For more information on how you, too, can teach with Participate Learning, visit our webpage.