Setting Ourselves Apart: How We Value Our Ambassadors
At Participate Learning, we are passionate about driving our mission forward to ensure equitable and inclusive access to a globally focused education for students through our program offerings. Supporting schools and districts as they develop open-minded and culturally aware global citizens would not be made possible without the hard work and dedication of our international ambassadors.
These highly qualified educators bring the world to their students each day by giving them new cultural and international perspectives to view their own circumstances from. With the new school year in full swing, we want to highlight the different ways that we support our teachers throughout the year, from onboarding to orientation to ongoing support, so that they are in the best position to be successful in impacting the lives of all of their students.
We strive to make the transition to teaching in the US as smooth as possible for our international teachers. Prior to their arrival in the States, we offer a series of online sessions that introduce teachers to our education system, potential cultural differences, and practical topics such as financial planning, health benefits, and obtaining their visa so that they are well prepared to take this next step in their careers.
We also arrange and provide travel for all of our ambassadors to the US to ensure they arrive safely and as easily as possible. At the airport, our staff awaits to greet our new ambassadors and helps them to get settled before starting their initial week long orientation.
Over the course of their first five days in the US, our ambassadors receive an orientation on various topics to help them become acclimated before heading to their school placements. Some of the topics included in orientation are banking, transportation, completing government documents, US teaching policies, cultural transitions, and two days of instructional sessions based on their subject and grade level.
Along with these informational sessions, orientation is a time for connection. Our ambassadors have many opportunities to socialize and form relationships with our other international teachers as well as the entire Participate Learning staff. Many of our alumni say that the friendships they made during orientation lasted throughout their entire time teaching with Participate Learning, and most still stay in touch today!
When teachers arrive in their districts, they are greeted by their assigned local adviser, a returning Participate teacher who is there to answer questions that might arise and to help them get acclimated to their new community. Local advisers monitor how new teachers are adjusting and stay in contact with Participate Learning staff so that we can provide additional support as needed.
Participate Learning staff also visit all new teachers in their classroom during the first semester and check in with their principal to see how they are adjusting to the new school environment. In addition to in-person support, we provide teachers with a variety of instructional resources and provide virtual coaching opportunities when needed.
Each year in October, Participate Learning hosts an education conference for all new ambassadors that focuses on classroom management and cultural communications. This is a time for reconnection, problem solving, sharing, and networking. Our ambassadors leave this conference with practical tips and a renewed enthusiasm for the year ahead.
Teaching in the US is a journey, and we are here to support all of our ambassadors every step of the way. A 24/7 phone line and email support connect us to teachers so that we can answer any questions related to their program participation. We encourage them to get to know one another and to create a sense of community that allows them to collaborate within an experienced professional network of international educators.
At Participate Learning, we fully understand the value and commitment these teachers bring to their school districts and local communities. They are a major part of our vision to develop global citizenship among today’s students and tomorrow’s leaders, and we can’t thank them enough for their dedication to providing a quality global education for all students.
To hear the experiences of some of our ambassadors firsthand, watch this video on their time with Participate Learning.