Global Educators Program: Student Teaching and January AwayDepartment of Education

The Global Educators program is a unique opportunity, distinctive of Gustavus Education programming overall. With Global Educators, you can spend a half-semester away from Minnesota student-teaching (during either spring or fall semester). Another option is in January, when you can work as a classroom aide. Different destinations depend on the year, or time of year, and teacher candidates frequently field job offers before they even leave their placement. Global Educators is a great way to immerse yourself in a diverse area and develop different skills from those you'd gain locally.

Opportunities are offered on a rotating basis, and the Department is always working to create new Global Educator destinations.

Seven-week student teaching options:

  • Tolleson/Avondale (Phoenix area), Arizona
    Kindergarten-High School
    While immersed in the culture of the American Southwest, Global Educators who student-teach in the Phoenix area gain experience working with a diverse student body, including a high percentage of Latinx students and students from low socioeconomic areas within the district. Placements include Canyon Breeze Elementary School, Garden Lakes Elementary School, La Joya Community High School, or Tolleson Union High School.

  • Sotogrande International School, Sotogrande, Spain
    Kindergarten-High School
    Global Educators student-teach at the Sotogrande International Baccalaureate (IB) School, a progressive IB school where students have a high level of English language proficiency. Participants need to be creative and comfortable with developing curriculum and working independently, and flexible enough to respond to changes in classes based on student interest and teacher direction.

  • Utquiagvik (formerly Barrow), Alaska
    Kindergarten-High School
    Located in the northernmost city in the United States, the Utquiagvik schools provide an immersion into Native Alaskan culture for Global Educators. Student-teachers gain experience with the Iñupiaq community of Utquiagvik, learn to make traditional cultural connections in the subjects they are teaching, and practice CRT (Culturally Responsive Teaching) in their classroom interactions.

  • Foundation Catholic Education Schools, Sint Maarten
    PreK-High School
    Global Educators student-teach in the dynamic, multicultural destination of Sint Maarten, West Indies. Schools at this site use English as the language of instruction, and Teacher Candidates will integrate all of their training and preparation to form positive relationships with host teachers and students, create and deliver instruction, manage the classroom and student behavior, and develop career-long skills with regard to supporting multilingual learners.

  • Maui, Hawai'i
    Kindergarten-High School
    Hawai'i Global Educators will work in one of three partner schools on the island of Maui, where we collaborate with one middle school and two elementary sites in Kahului, Paia, and/or Kihei. Teacher Candidates will gain experience with Native Hawaiian and other multicultural pupils in a tropical setting that, while part of the United States, is still markedly different from the Midwestern school experiences Education majors will have had prior to arriving.

Three-week J-term option:

  • Sint Maarten, West Indies (offered in odd years); EDU 235: Supporting Pupil Learning on Sint Maarten, West Indies
    EDU majors (and non-majors) spend January-term on the island, supporting host teachers as classroom aides during the school day, then exploring the island on evenings/weekends via various course excursions. This J-term is rigorous, demanding time, effort, and energy from the student, who is also rewarded with genuine, authentic classroom experiences on a multinational/multicultural, multilingual, friendly, and beautiful island.

Hear alumni and faculty talk about teaching abroad here:

Other education-related courses, and Global Educator opportunities, are being developed all the time; if you have a destination idea or suggestion, let us know!

Financial Assistance Available

The Falksen Endowment for Global Educators, funded by Marilyn '68 and David Falksen, is available on a by-need basis for EDU majors who want to be a part of Global Educators! Ask the Education Department faculty and staff if you want to know more about this funding opportunity.

Marilyn Hempftling Falksen

Having grown up on a farm in southern Minnesota, Marilyn Hempftling (now Falksen) came to Gustavus feeling a bit overwhelmed and nervous but also excited about the adventure ahead of her. As she became familiar with the campus and met other students, several of whom became life-long friends with whom she maintains regular contact, her nervousness quickly dissipated. Gustavus created a window for her to explore the world beyond the rural community in which she grew up and introduced her to people from different backgrounds with different viewpoints. Gustavus also instilled in Marilyn the idea that one should live a life of purpose, and this goal encouraged her to work in the public sector.

After graduation, Marilyn taught in a small town in southern Minnesota for five years and worked in private industry and for the Minnesota State Government before she moved to Washington, DC, to work for Congress and eventually for the Department of Justice. Her career, which gave her a unique look into the inner workings of political life, taught her that learning about people with ideas, backgrounds, and experiences different from one’s own, and listening to these people, is key to working successfully in a diverse country and world. Her belief that education can have a positive impact on the development of the skills needed to understand other points of view has led her to make the decision to endow the Global Education Program at Gustavus Adolphus College.

This program encourages student teachers to travel abroad and in the United States, to places with different cultures and socio-economic conditions, where they are challenged to develop their skills to teach those with challenging and unique backgrounds. This experience will help Gustavus student teachers develop the valuable skills of reaching out to others and listening to and understanding other points of view, rather than merely dismissing them as irrelevant. The program is a way to help the student teachers from Gustavus learn from the diversity of ideas and cultures in the world. It is Marilyn’s sincere hope that these experiences will broaden their ideas about this world and how to approach and solve important problems and that they, in turn, will be able to pass on to their future students the importance of learning about and trying to understand individuals different from themselves.