News + People
Employee Spotlight: Etsu Hutchison
At Participate Learning, we are committed to uniting our world through global learning. Many of us are former teachers, principals, or school district leaders. All of us believe in the importance of equitable access to quality education to foster human understanding and create peace. To achieve this, our ambassadors need timely support and resources to succeed in their classrooms so that their students are equipped to become open-minded global citizens.
Our teacher support team works tirelessly to train and prepare teachers to succeed both professionally and personally in the United States. Read on to learn more about Etsu Hutchison, manager of teacher resources, and her experience and passion for this work.
Path to Participate Learning
Before working in her current role, Etsu joined Participate Learning as an ambassador teacher from Costa Rica teaching world language and English as a second language. Through two stints as an ambassador teacher, first in Hoke County, North Carolina, and then outside of Atlanta, Georgia, Etsu brings with her a wealth of direct knowledge about the teacher experience. When asked how her experience as an educator in the program prepared her for this role, she reflected that it gives her the insight to understand what our teachers go through and experience.
I know how hard it is to do this, to pack your bags, come to another country, and another culture and to have to relearn everything because you’re used to being successful in your country and when you come here you’re not as successful anymore. That’s hard! It’s a process of adjusting and going through lots of emotions until you get to a place where you feel you can get to the other side.
A Day in the Life
In a typical workday, Etsu works diligently with the teacher resources team to support teachers instructionally and in their personal lives. She is focused on ensuring they have a positive experience and have the support they need in a timely manner. Her own experience allows her to empathize and connect with teachers to help them when they are struggling but also celebrate with them during their successes.
Our ambassadors are more receptive to really hear the message once they know I’ve been in the program myself; they know I’ve been there and that I know what it feels like, too.
When reflecting on what she enjoys most about interacting with ambassador teachers, Etsu believes it is all about getting to know them as people and being energized by what they are doing to educate their students. She has seen their expertise and knowledge firsthand and says that she’s observed a common thread among all our teachers: a love for education and wanting to expand young minds and open their students to the world beyond their community.
It takes a certain kind of person to be a teacher. And it takes a very special kind of person to be an international teacher, to come to a different country and teach these students, and not only teach, but to excel at teaching them. I think our ambassadors bring this richness to the program and that impact is truly priceless.
Purpose and Passion
For Etsu, our mission, uniting our world through global education, comes to life through students. When our teachers bring their culture with them to small communities, no matter how difficult that journey may be, their work cultivating young minds is critically important to spreading peace and cultural understanding. She believes that our teachers are constantly planting these seeds and nurturing children with knowledge about the world. Her favorite inspirational quote, from Nelson Mandela, reads, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
Thanks to the dedication of Etsu and the entire teacher support team, our ambassadors are equipped to succeed in their classrooms and build meaningful relationships with their students. For information on how you can teach with Participate Learning too, check out our application requirements.