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Possibilities As A Fulbright Teacher for Global Classrooms Program

The Fulbright TGC Program is a yearlong professional learning opportunity and short-term exchange for elementary, middle, and high school educators from the United States to teach their students about various themes, such as sustainable development, interdependence, cultural identity and diversity, equality and social justice, and migration. Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms equips educators to bring an international perspective to their schools through targeted training, experience abroad, and global collaboration.

This program provides an opportunity for eligible teachers to develop skills to help prepare students for a competitive global economy.

Fulbright teachers global classroom

The Skills of The Global Teacher

Globally competent teachers demonstrate the following characteristics and guide their students to do the same:

  • Investigate the world beyond their immediate environment, framing significant problems and conducting well-crafted and age-appropriate research;
  • Recognize perspectives, others and their own, articulating and explaining such perspectives thoughtfully and respectfully;
  • Communicate ideas effectively with diverse audiences, bridging geographic, linguistic, ideological, and cultural barriers; and
  • Take action to improve conditions, viewing themselves as players in the world and participating reflectively.

However, global competence training is not part of the standard U.S. teacher training or certification process.

This is where the Teachers for Global Classrooms Program (TGC) enters the scene. The program provides a professional development opportunity for middle and high school teachers from the United States to participate in a program aimed at globalizing teaching and learning in their classrooms. TGC is a program of the ECA and administered by IREX, an international nonprofit organization providing thought leadership and innovative programs to promote positive lasting change globally. The applications for TGC are available now on IREX’s website.

Eligibility Requirements

Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms are selected through an open competition. An independent panel of experts reviews applications according to a rubric of specific evaluation criteria. To be eligible for the Fulbright TGC Program, the applicant must:

  • be a citizen of the United States;
  • reside in the United States, a U.S. territory, or a school associated with the Department of Defense Education Activity;
  • hold at least a bachelor’s degree;
  • have a minimum of three years of full-time experience in a U.S. K–12 educational institution;
  • be currently employed full-time in a U.S. K–12 educational institution or school district with a minimum of 50% of contracted hours in a student-facing role; and
  • have NOT resided abroad for five or more consecutive years in the six years preceding the date of application; a candidate who has done so is ineligible for a grant. A candidate who has lived outside the United States for nine months or more during a calendar year is deemed to have resided abroad for that year.

Alumni of the Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) programs are ineligible to apply. Preference will be given to applicants who have not participated in the Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching (DA), the Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange, or another Fulbright program.

I Meet the Criteria – What Happens Next?

When IREX receives applications through the Online Application System, each is screened for technical eligibility. After confirming that applicants meet the eligibility criteria, an independent committee of experts reviews the applications.

The independent committee reads and reviews applications and makes nomination recommendations. The Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board approves all final nominations.

Applications are evaluated on their overall quality, the applicant’s qualifications, the program’s benefit for both the applicant and the applicant’s school, and a clear demonstration of educational leadership.

Fulbright Teacher Exchanges

Teacher exchanges provide opportunities for elementary and secondary educators to develop their practice and bring global knowledge, skills, and perspectives to their classrooms and schools. Through exchange and professional learning programs, ­teachers improve educational outcomes and prepare today’s youth for success in a globalized, interconnected world.

Each year, approximately 400 educators from the United States and over 75 other countries participate in these exchanges. When they return to their classrooms, they reach more than 75,000 students annually. Throughout their careers, they will influence more than 1 million students.

U.S. teachers and administrators travel abroad for up to a semester to learn new educational practices, develop authentic global content, and share their pedagogical expertise. They conduct research, visit schools, develop leadership skills, and build relationships with colleagues and students in their host communities. They ret­urn home with new curricula and best practices for their classrooms, schools and communities.

Research projects cover many topics, including improving STEM education, diversity, equity, and inclusion, teaching the UN’s sustainable development goals, and expanding vocational education.

  • Experience in a U.S. classroom will transform you into a versatile and adaptable educator. 
  • You will greatly improve your English language skills.
  • You’ll develop cross-cultural awareness. 
  • Experience abroad is a unique resume booster.
  • Your professional network will grow tremendously.

Creating a Global Classroom

Creating an inclusive place where all children have an equal voice doesn’t have to take much extra time. Teaching materials should reflect the world’s diversity, as should classroom visitors. A few examples of what a global classroom entails:

  • Encourages creative representations of the world;
  • Avoids stereotypes when selecting international images;
  • Creates games using maps and globes;
  • Plays music from a variety of cultures and takes time to reflect on and discuss it;
  • Creates a global bookshelf, including books written in other languages to show how books are physically read in other countries;
  • Posts and refers to the alphabets of other world languages;
  • Introduces world languages through online sources, such as the one used by the Peace Corps;
  • Incorporates toys/items from around the world in teaching both a subject and cultural similarities and differences.
  • Posts and frequently uses a variety of maps.

Teachers can also incorporate cultural exchange into their core curricula through virtual international exchange programs. These programs enable students to have direct communication with kids their own age living under significantly different circumstances. Students have the opportunity to “travel” to another country without leaving their school. The number of networks and organizations dedicated to connecting students and teachers around the world is growing. 

bill wallace author teacher retirement plans

About Author

Bill Wallace blends his academic background in Literature with his ventures in International Business and finance. His professional journey took him across Europe, especially in Spain, where his passion for writing evolved. Since then, armed with his literary finesse and investment acumen, he has been crafting financial content for teachers worldwide. More about me.

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