A US-based teacher exchange program is accepting applications for Australian and New Zealand teachers wishing to participate in a teacher exchange program in the United States next year.
For over 30 years, Participate Learning has had nearly 10,000 teachers from 84 countries take part in their program. As part of the experience, each teacher participates in a three-year exchange program, “immersing themselves in a different classroom, city and culture” and becoming the “global thinkers of tomorrow”.
In the following video, Participate teacher from the United Kingdom Kathryn Hodskinson shares how cultural exchange is intrinsic to education and has informed her teaching practice. She teaches third grade at Holt Elementary Language Academy in Durham, N.C, in America after her first stint teaching in Kenya.
The program has links with 388 schools in three states – North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia – and can be extended for up to five years. International Recruitment Director from Participate Learning Jeff Seaby said:
“During this time, the chosen teachers will receive a salary equal to a US teacher, as well as life insurance and airline tickets. We will support all successful applicants in the process to fulfil all visa requirements as well as logistics related to the move, including any family members travelling with the educator.”
Daniel Felsman, an Australian teacher and Participate Learning recruit, describes his exchange experience as an opportunity to achieve personal and professional goals while being immersed in another culture.
“The opportunity to collaborate and learn from US teachers has helped me adapt my teaching style to become more flexible and, in turn, better positioned to stay ahead of the challenges Australian teachers are facing. I am very much looking to embedding this new way of working with my students in Australia,” Felsman said"
According to Joshua Bridges: "Teaching wasn't necessarily part of my grand plan, however I did have a background coaching kids in sport, which I loved! Then when my children attended primary school, I noticed a real lack of male teachers/role models in the primary school system. From that point, it just seemed like the perfect fit for me. It was the best decision I have ever made, as I have the opportunity to positive impact young people each and everyday.
Asked why he chose the US for his teaching exchange program, he replied: "Well the USA influences the world in so many different ways, such as in pop culture mediums like music, movies and fashion. Because of this, many of the citizens of the USA don't necessarily get an opportunity to immerse themselves in other cultures. Therefore the USA represented an opportunity for me to bring the world into the classroom. expose the students to not only my culture, but also cultures from all over the world. For me personally, I have the chance to learn a whole new way of doing things, which provides me with an opportunity to develop new skills, ultimately making me a better teacher. For me diversity is a wonderful thing, so to have the chance to experience all the differences the USA has to offer, is exciting and enlightening. On top of that, I am an avid fan of US sports such as basketball, baseball and football, so while I am here, I get the added bonus of being able to attend events I could only ever."
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