News + People
Employee Spotlight: Kaselehlia Sielken
At Participate Learning, we are committed to achieving our mission of uniting our world through global learning. The heart of our work lies in the life-changing educational experiences our ambassador teachers give to students as they develop them into empathetic, curious global leaders who have the competencies and tools they need to thrive in the global marketplace.
Our teacher selection team works diligently to find and place these highly qualified educators from around the globe into our partner schools. Read on to learn more about Kaselehlia (Kas) Sielken, a senior admissions specialist on our teacher selection team.
A day in the life
On a typical day, Kas does a variety of admissions work involving reviewing online applications, answering teachers’ questions in emails, and speaking with teachers on the phone or through Zoom calls. She also spends time evaluating required documents and reviewing teacher files. Kas enjoys her position because she is able to balance “people work with paperwork.”
One of the most challenging aspects of her job is the factors outside of her control that affect the ability of the teacher selection team to bring teachers into the states at the time they want them to come. 2020, in particular, was quite challenging in this regard, but the teacher selection team still successfully brought over 66 ambassador teachers, and Kas is looking forward to many more arriving during 2021.
When asked about her position as a senior admissions specialist, Kas remarked,
“Even though I have worked in admissions and teacher selection for over 13 years, things are always changing and evolving. I enjoy learning and growing with the role and with the organization.”
Prior to joining Participate Learning, Kas spent time abroad in Mexico, which helped shape her into who she is today. Through this experience, she learned firsthand the benefits of cultural and language immersion. The perspective she gained through her time abroad helps her relate to our ambassador teachers as they take the leap and move across the globe to a different country.
Kas is inspired by our ambassador teachers and says she is constantly learning from them about the world, their countries, and their experiences. During the pandemic, she has dedicated more time to connecting with incoming candidates and has found them to be “amazingly positive, innovative, and hardworking.”
Currently, Kas is excited about a new online community that has launched for incoming candidates hoping to travel to the United States this year. She loves having a dedicated space for teachers to connect, ask questions, and complete courses preparing them for their ambassador teacher experience.
Kas’s favorite Participate Learning memories revolve around seeing the tangible change teachers are creating in their classrooms. She was in awe after the first time she visited a Spanish immersion school and was able to observe a fifth-grade classroom where the students were having in-depth conversations around social studies topics in Spanish.
Years later, the impact of watching our ambassador teachers remains the same. When Kas first visited a Mandarin immersion school, she was absolutely blown away watching fourth-grade students telling stories in Mandarin with ease. She looks back on these memories fondly and finds the experience of watching teachers make connections with students through language and cultural activities invaluable.
When asked about the most meaningful aspect of our purpose and mission at Participate Learning, Kas said,
“I love the concept that our teachers bring the world to their students. The connections that are made between international teachers and their students, schools, and communities are invaluable and change our world for the better.”
Thanks to the dedication of Kas and the entire teacher selection team, our ambassador teachers are supported throughout the entire selection process and are able to have a lasting, positive impact on their students in the United States. Click here to learn from our ambassador teachers firsthand about their experiences, from the application process to school placements. For more information on how you can teach with us, check out our application requirements.