Participate Learning Initiative Offers Teaching Opportunities in the US for Belizean Educators
The Participate Learning initiative, which gives Belizean teachers the opportunity to teach at schools in the United States, is putting out a call for applications. The program is seeking qualified teachers between the ages of twenty-five and fifty years old, to fill positions at schools in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia. Participate Learning’s International Recruitment Manager for Latin America, Ronald Ramirez, said that accepted teachers will have the opportunity to represent Belize teaching at US schools and be paid salaries equivalent to US teachers. He added that the program also emphasizes cultural exchange between the students and the teachers from the region. Love News spoke with Sylvin Che, one of the first Belizeans to teach at Winchester Public Schools in Virginia, through the Participate Learning program. Che, who teaches mathematics, says that the transition from teaching in Belize to teaching in the US was an eye-opening experience. He shared how he intends to use the opportunity to teach his students about Belize.
Sylvin Che, Teacher, Participate Learning: “Participate Learning is all about of course coming to the US and sharing your culture, right? As a Belizean teacher, as a Belizean citizen, I plan on sharing a lot of my culture that I have here in Belize. A lot of the stuff that we used to do there in Belize, you know for example this September we’re going to be talking about the September celebrations that we’re going to be having in Belize, especially the 21st of September which we have our independence, right? So all of this stuff is what we share among the students. We share about the culture, the food, music, the beautiful places where we can visit you know all of the stuff that we have in Belize, literally share with these students and as well with the community. And we’re also planning as well to have like a case show of many different countries that we have here. For example we have teachers from Colombia, from Peru, from Chile, from Belize, Mexico and we are actually thinking and planning on doing an open day to share all of this culture that we have in our specific countries. When I first came here I was thinking that the students would be a little denying me because I am from a next country and stuff like that. But no, they are actually amazing. They receive you, the teacher, like a normal teacher, they have respect for you. As well, just like the students, the staff is very welcoming, as well as the parents, they are very welcoming. It is an amazing, amazing experience.”
Those interested in the 2024-2025 cohort can fill out an application online at Participate Learning’s website. Those accepted will get to visit their placements between June and August 2024. Over the thirty-six years the program has been in existence, twenty-five Belizeans have participated in it./