Participate Learning is a force for good that connects teachers and students through global education programs to foster human understanding and create peace around the world. Since 1987, we have partnered with schools and districts to provide cultural competency that prepares students to contribute to the world community and compete in the global marketplace.
This work would not be made possible without the expertise and hard work of the members of our global schools team at Participate Learning. Read on to learn more about Kristin Lowder, our global schools operations manager.
Journey to Participate Learning
As a global studies and Spanish double major at UNC–Chapel Hill, Kristin’s education background made her the perfect fit for her role as our global schools operations manager. Beyond her knowledge and skills from her education, however, Kristin attributes her success at Participate Learning to her investment from her colleagues.
In particular, Kristin gives credit to her managers that supported and guided her in her first several years in her professional career. The opportunity to try new things and learn from new experiences has allowed her to gain experience in different roles and get a better understanding of how the different program offerings intersect and contribute to how the company works as a whole.
Her favorite Participate Learning memory is the day she was officially hired and transitioned from being an intern to a full-time staff member. It was her first job out of college and she was excited to take the next step into the professional world. When reflecting on her time as an intern Kristin said,
“I’m going to shamelessly plug the intern program here—it was such a surprise to me when I started that a paid internship even existed, let alone that I got to do real work that I felt actually contributed to the company, not just getting coffee or doing busywork.”
A Day in the Life
As the global schools operations manager, Kristin’s work tends to be very seasonal—so there is no such thing as a typical workday. Right now, she and her team are working to complete the 2018–19 school year with end-of-year data collection and reporting as well as transitioning into the start of the 2019–20 school year. With new teacher arrivals approaching and year-round schools starting back in July, Kristin definitely manages to stay busy!
During other times of the year, Kristin spends time updating data and reports, managing department-level communications, and coordinating assessments for dual language programs. Day to day, the Global Schools team sees a lot of variety ranging from calling schools to confirm numbers in dual language classrooms to mapping out ideas for future program enhancements.
Currently, Kristin is excited to be working on a mapping project, which will show snapshots of the Participate Learning network for the 2019–20 school year and over time. She spends a lot of time analyzing data and recently completed a certificate program in geospatial information science (GIS), so this project is a great opportunity to use her coursework in a tangible way.
As she looks toward the future, Kristin is excited about the moment that occurs each fall when her team gathers the last piece of data needed—whether it’s assessment preferences, student classroom numbers, or pacing guides—because it means they have gathered fully updated information for the school year. Kristin says that finalizing this large undertaking brings her an “admittedly weird personal satisfaction.”
In regard to setting professional goals, Kristin’s main focus is to keep learning. She loves to see how new things that she learns impact her in unexpected ways. She even says,
“I am still pretty early on in my career, and ‘you don’t know what you don’t know’ is one thing I DO know well at this point.”
Outside of work, Kristin hopes to travel one day to Egypt or Greece—ideally, somewhere she can go on a mythology tour!
Thanks to Kristin, our schools have the support and resources needed to successfully bring global education locally and create future global leaders in their classrooms.