Tips for Success: Global Collaborations in the Classroom

This guest post comes to us courtesy of Paige Badgett (@PTPIPaige), Director of the School & Classroom Program, at People to People International (PTPI).

The benefits of exposing your students to their counterparts in another country are endless. Each year, teachers participating in PTPI’s School & Classroom Program are matched with a partner teacher in another country and then receive a Program Manual with tips for success, global collaboration best practices, and project ideas. We are happy to share our Tips for Success with this great forum of educators today!

• Communicate.  Stay in touch with your partner teacher.  This is the key to success. Be honest and clear about your intentions and expectations.

• Contact your partner teacher in a timely manner.  When beginning a partnership, introduce yourself to your partner teacher as soon as possible.

• If you do not receive a response to an email message, resend your message.  The reason is often that the message was not received.  Often spam filters get in the way. Try again.

• Share school and holiday schedules. As a holiday nears, provide your departure and return dates.  Learn the difference between your time zone and that of your partner.

Lithuania.AudroneStoskiene

• Guarantee positive representation of you and your country.  Remember that you and your students represent your country.  Students should neatly compose letters and projects using their best spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

• Ensure language is cross-cultural.  Consider what needs explanation or description for an audience from another culture.  Slang and colloquial language needs to be used carefully and meanings should be explained as needed.

• Learn about international mail and customs policies for your partner’s country. International mail requires different postage than domestic mail.  Your post office can help you with postage rates for airmail, the preferred method to send letters and parcels.
Romania.NiculinaComanescu2

• Ask questions. If you are unsure how to proceed on any matter, ask.  Be honest with your partner teacher when you are confused about any communication discrepancies.

• Be a responsible partner.  If for any reason you can no longer collaborate, please inform your partner so a new classroom can be assigned.  When a partnership is ended without explanation, students tend to take this personally, questioning whether their partner disliked them. Most importantly, if you plan to continue working together, stay in touch with your partner teacher during the summer or winter breaks to assure them of your continued interest.

• Record your partnership. Take pictures of your students writing letters, opening letters, and working on projects with their partner.

Join our growing community of educators from 127 countries by registering for the School & Classroom Program today! People to People International connects people of all countries and cultures because we believe that understanding one another is the best way to create peace.

For more information about this program or to register for the 2013-2014 school year, please contact me at classroom@ptpi.org or follow me on Twitter! Check out past posts from Paige here and here!

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8 thoughts on “Tips for Success: Global Collaborations in the Classroom

  1. Thank you for so many practical ideas! I´ve already posted the link to this blog entry in the Skype Community from Edmodo where there was a question about establishing connections.

  2. These points are all very relevant. I’m currently collaborating with a school from Singapore and have found this relationship working far better than a previous one through following these principles. Great blog!

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