Are you hiring teachers who can help students connect with the real world? Photo: Track5/iStockPhoto.com.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
For more information on preparing teachers, see the Longview Foundation report Teacher Preparation for the Global Age.