Skip to content
News + People

Philippine Teachers Thrive in U.S. with Participate Learning

Uprooting your family to move across the globe is an exciting adventure, but that much change can also be a little scary. For five teachers from the Philippines, the focus shifted from excitement to nervous questions as their flight reached the United States.

Yet for teachers Roel Antonio, Sheila Ramos, Wendelson Aparto, Glaiza Tindugan, and Jezelle Camille, the biggest concern—what happens after arrival—immediately disappeared when Participate Learning’s staff greeted them in the terminal and assisted the teachers with their luggage. 

“We were a bit nervous. But when we saw the Participate Learning staff, we were so excited and happy to see them. They’ve become like our family,” said Glaiza Tindugan. 

Roel, Sheila, Wendelson, Glaiza, and Jezelle were the first of more than 30 teachers from the Philippines to arrive this summer. They found U.S. teaching jobs with help from Participate Learning, which has connected more than 17,000 exchange teachers from 77 countries to school communities in the United States since the organization was founded in 1987. Participate Learning strives to unite the world through global learning by working with U.S. school districts to host Ambassador Teachers who share their culture while providing excellent instruction. 

Overwhelmed with appreciation, Roel expressed his pride in being chosen as one of the qualified participants. Participate Learning received more than 13,000 applications worldwide, which were narrowed down to the 650 teachers starting this school year, according to Jeff Seaby, director of international recruitment at Participate Learning. 

As Roel reflected on the journey that brought him here, he recognized the unique opportunities that awaited him, such as access to more technology, which is limited in his home country. 

“I chose this program for my own personal and professional advancement,” Roel said. “I want to create an impact on future students. I want to be a source of inspiration to them. If I can influence their perceptions and perspectives on my culture, then I’m making a difference.” 

Welcoming new Ambassador Teachers at the airport is just the first of many services Participate Learning provides to help teachers adjust to their new communities. Those services start before teachers even travel, with numerous online sessions to strengthen teachers’ understanding of what working in U.S. schools is like. 

Once teachers arrive, they attend a four-day orientation program designed using Participate Learning’s more than 35 years of supporting exchange teachers. During their orientation, these teachers had the chance to connect, sharing their experiences, reasons for choosing Participate Learning, and the benefits of being an Ambassador Teacher.

Wendelson, another teacher from the Philippines, praised Participate Learning’s dedication and care throughout the entire process, emphasizing their strong support for the new teachers. The support from Participate Learning includes:

  • Travel from home country to the United States
  • Orientation to prepare teachers for their new experience, with hotel and meals included
  • Cell phone
  • Child care during orientation
  • Local advisor to help with the transition to a new community
  • Transportation to the host district

Participate Learning also makes it easy to apply and offers ongoing guidance during the next steps. 

“I appreciate everything that Participate Learning has done with this transition. From the courses, the admission specialist, and additional staff that are supporting us,” Roel said. Other teachers also said they appreciated the access to online courses as well as the orientation sessions. Because of these elements, teachers enter their classrooms feeling more prepared. 

Participate Learning serves as a platform for personal growth, cultural understanding, and global collaboration, empowering teachers like Roel, Sheila, Wendelson, Glaiza, and Jezelle to make a profound impact beyond their home country. By nurturing these educators, the program seeks to inspire the next generation of students through fostering a deeper understanding of diverse cultures.

In the words of Glaiza, “There is no sponsor that supports exchange teachers like Participate Learning.”

Share this Post

More on the blog