Global Opportunities for Teachers Newsletter
 
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By lleana Jiménez, Fulbright Distinguished Alumna, 2010-2011 
Photo by Noah Drezner/GLSEN

In July, I had the honor of attending a convening in Buenos Aires hosted by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) and UNESCO to launch a global network of activists and researchers to support LGBT youth in schools. Our day-long meeting created the foundation of a strategic plan for providing LGBT students and their teachers the resources, research, and advocacy they need to create safe schools for all.

As the only teacher-researcher at the convening, I came knowing that my voice as an educator was one that is rarely heard in these urgent conversations. I had been selected to join the convening due to my Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program research on LGBT youth in Mexico, where I had interviewed queer students in high schools about their experience of bullying and harassment, coming out and relationships, counseling and curricular inclusion.

Following the convening, our cohort presented at the XV World Congress on Comparative Education, also held in Buenos Aires. To read more about my experience at both the convening and the conference, please read my piece for the Huffington Post as well as the piece on my professional site, Feminist Teacher

The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program, which is sponsored by the the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the U.S. Department of State, provides U.S. and international teachers with the opportunity to spend three to six months outside their home countries to take courses for professional development, lead seminars and master classes, work with teachers in local host country schools and pursue individual research to complete a capstone project of relevance to their teaching. 
 

A team of teachers and administrators from the Ann Arbor public schools district (AAPS), along with Toyota executives and IIE staff, recently returned from a two-week trip to Singapore with the Toyota Education Initiatives in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) Innovation, a pilot program of the Toyota International Teacher Program. The new public -private partnership between Toyota and AAPS provided an opportunity for the school district team to visit local schools, experience innovative STEAM curriculum and engage in various dialogue sessions with government officials, policy makers and master teachers in Singapore. The team had also participated in a 2.5 day customized training course at the Singapore’s teacher training institute.


This international professional development opportunity was fully funded by Toyota Motor Sales, USA, and managed by IIE San Francisco in partnership with the Singapore Ministry of Education, Academy of Singapore Teachers. This unique model, which brings a committed team of STEAM classroom teachers, school administrators and district leaders has the potential to impact over 16,000 K-12 students, teachers and the greater Ann Arbor community.

To learn more and see photos of the Toyota STEAM Development Team in Singapore, click here.





 

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