One of the aspects I’ve found to be most noble while working at Participate Learning is that our values are just that: valued. And there is a certain rarity and specialness in this. The values that amplify our mission of uniting our world through global learning are more than just words on a page. They are referenced, practiced, cited, and celebrated daily.
Following up to part one in our series on how we exemplify our values, the story of how one Participate Learning employee has delivered excellent work inside and outside of classrooms across North Carolina, North America, and beyond.
In part one of our core value blog series, we focused on how we work to make one another better. Following up on that, let’s follow how one Participate LEarning employee delivers excellent work across the state and the world.
Deliver excellent work
Dual Language Instructional Specialist Rocio Evans has an undeniably positive presence. When she walks into a room, her national confidence, inviting smile, and effortless strands of Spanglish put you at ease.
These qualities transfer well into Rocio’s work. Both Honduran and Costa Rican, she left Honduras in 2007 to become an ambassador teacher at E.E. Miller Elementary. This was one of the first schools to embrace Participate Learning’s dual language program. Over the course of five years, she taught kindergarten, first, and third grade. She helped many other ambassador teachers adjust, prepare, and acclimate along the way.
Sometimes, this involved giving a tour of her school during an intersession and explaining school culture. Other times it meant providing smartboard training and sharing lesson plans. Rocio continued to assist other ambassador teachers, even those at other dual language program schools. She loved getting the chance to help those who were in a setting she knew all too well: new job, new city, new country, new culture, new life.
When she returned home to Costa Rica, she persisted. Oftentimes she offered ambassador teachers advice and feedback through Skype sessions. “I never really let go of Participate Learning,” she says.
Thus, when she received an offer in 2014 – this time, to coach – she didn’t hesitate to accept. Since then, she has helped build innovative coaching systems and processes. She trained principals and support staff and also created and translated courses. She has helped lead ambassador teacher orientations. She assisted in lesson planning and provided coaching. “I’ve been on the floor, I’ve been in classrooms dusting things off and organizing books. I’ve even stayed to laminate things for an ambassador teacher while they’re having lunch. It’s for them. To show them that we’re here for them and their success,” she says.
Applying experience to support ambassador teachers
Rocio explains that having experience both within and around the classroom has helped. It allows her to focus on ambassador teacher needs, which she and her team continually vie to understand and meet. “It was nice to go from being an ambassador teacher to this. When you’re an ambassador teacher, you’re [generally] reaching one classroom. When you’re a coach, you’re reaching more students,” she explains.
Being a source of ambassador teacher support is what drives her. It’s what makes her excited to go to work every morning. “It’s those connections with the ambassador teachers, being that guide that they are looking for. Building that trust and knowing that I can be there for the ambassador teachers, and therefore, for the students” Rocio exclaims. “The type of support, I think, is what sets us apart. The experience just makes it worth it.”
In these ways and countless others, Participate Learning employees deliver excellent work. Stay tuned for more ways in which we exemplify our values in and around the workplace! Up next, “Part 3: Seek and share feedback.”