How to Recruit a Globally Minded Teacher

Are you hiring teachers who can help students connect with the real world? Photo: Track5/
Are you hiring teachers who can help students connect with the real world? Photo: Track5/

Any school that wants to expand its students’ understanding of the world needs teachers who not only believe in the mission but who know the international dimensions of their subject. Teachers, no matter how enthusiastic they are, can only teach what they know. The most obvious first step is to recruit teachers who have an international background, whether from study, travel, or other significant experience. When hiring, look for the knowledge, skills, and dispositions that are essential to effective teaching.

Globally focused schools need teachers with:

  • A deep quest to learn. Studies show that lifelong learners are the single best cadre of teachers for innovations in education. They are news junkies, voracious readers, and have traveled abroad. They are open, fearless, and see diversity as an asset.
  • Knowledge of a world language or culture or the desire to develop expertise or the desire to master one.
  • Resourceful, engaging approaches. These teachers search online for resources and connect to international assets within the community. They are confident enough to make mistakes, to be flexible, to let students lead.
  • Awareness of global trends. Such teachers keep up with international news and events and integrate them in their teaching. They understand real-life connections to their discipline and know how to make their subject matter relevant to students’ lives.
  • Commitment to equity. Teachers who act on the belief that every one of their students can gain the knowledge, skills and values to prepare for success in the global environment.

Consult Asia Society's International Studies Schools teacher profile for more details on what a school should seek in new teacher candidates. It is a good resource for teacher professional development considerations, too.

For more information on preparing teachers, see the Longview Foundation report Teacher Preparation for the Global Age.