World Leadership School

Effective Teaching in the 21st Century

In our experience, school change happens only when teachers are allowed to own and drive the change. Teachers embody the culture and the purpose of a school and, when properly supported and inspired, will transform schools with their energy and ideas around global learning. The job of the administration is to provide support, resources, and a framing vision — and then let teachers drive the bus.

Teaching in the 21st century is not a skill; it’s a mindset shift. Therefore, teacher professional development needs to be long-term and continuous in order to be effective. An in-service teacher training workshop is great for exposing teachers to new ideas, but true change in the classroom requires longer-term work.

At World Leadership School, we offer three main avenues of Teacher Professional Development: In-Service Workshops, one-on-one coaching through our Virtual Teacher Institute, and Educator Travel programs. Each school is different, and therefore we employ different teacher training strategies according to each context. Often, we use one strategy to support another — an In-Service Workshop, for example, will allow us to identify a small group of motivated teachers who will then receive year-long coaching in the Virtual Teacher Institute.

The best way to learn about Teacher Professional Development and training is to schedule a call with Shayna Cooke, our Director of Educator Development.

In-Service Workshops

Our interactive workshops leverage the faculty’s passions and help all teachers globalize their courses in relevant and meaningful ways. World Leadership School offers the following range of workshops on global learning, which can be blended and tailored to the needs of a particular school:

  • Best Practices in Global Learning (all disciplines and grade levels)
  • Development and Assessment of Global Competencies
  • Introduction to Project-Based Learning (PBL)
  • Purpose Intensive: How Can We Help Our Students Explore and Articulate Purpose?

These full-day workshops are generally 3 – 6 hours long so that there is time for coaching of grade-level teams, academic departments, and/or individual teachers looking for additional support. These visits can also include workshops with the School’s Board and/or Parents’ Association, particularly if developing buy in across the community is a goal.

Virtual Teacher Institute

Each year, our team of Coaches works closely with a select group of passionate and experienced educators. Our goal is to coach these teachers through the process of globalizing their teaching practice and creating learning showcases that embody the future of learning at their school. A handful of learning showcases can accelerate change in a school by energizing and inspiring students, parents, and other teachers.

Each VTI teacher begins by developing goals with his or her assigned coach, and then meets virtually with the coach on a regular basis throughout the school year. At some schools, one VTI is shared across a team of teachers, so that an entire grade level or teaching team can work together on a project with the coach’s support. Our VTI teachers take on challenging projects, such as the design of a new capstone course, fall and spring PBL experiences, or a school-wide video conference event.

During the course of the school year, the coach helps the VTI participant understand Project-Based Learning and other student-centered pedagogies, design and assess global competencies, develop new collaborative partnerships, identify key themes in global learning, network and find global speakers and partners, plan global events, and employ video conferencing strategies. This is a custom-tailored professional development experience designed to produce tangible results for teachers and schools. Participants in the VTI can also use our TakingITGlobal technology platform, including all teacher support resources, at no additional cost.

Educator Development Travel Programs

Each year, World Leadership School runs life- and career-changing travel programs for teachers. These programs allow teachers to be students again and re-envision their place in the world. Along the way, we leverage the group’s wisdom and experience for deep reflections around personal and professional growth. Each year we have one program focused on Project- and Place-based learning, which includes work on teaching and assessing global competencies. Participants live in a small community, visit local schools, share practices with local teachers, and develop a project to bring back to their classroom or school community. WLS also runs individualized Educator Development programs for schools interested in sending a larger team for the purpose of re-envisioning global learning, or work on a specific school change initiative. Email Shayna Cooke for information about our 2017 offerings:

Global Educator Intensive: Exploring Purpose in the Peruvian Andes, July 8 – 18, led by Ross Wehner and Vicki Weeks

During this traveling seminar in Peru’s Andes, we will connect with Peru’s culture and people as we explore the following question: “How can we as educators help our students explore and articulate purpose at an earlier age?” We will experience curriculum around finding purpose and work together to build purpose-based curriculum we can bring back to our schools. This seminar will be led by Ross Wehner, Founder of World Leadership School, and Vicki Weeks, Founder of Global Weeks and a long-time collaborator with World Leadership School. For more information, please contact Shayna Cooke.

Risk Management Workshops

In this decade, teachers are being asked to change their teaching as never before and the transition is creating big challenges for school leaders and teachers. In the future of learning, which is already here for many schools, teachers are connecting learning to the world and students are venturing off campus as never before. For our students, risk and failure outside of the classroom will be an intrinsic part of their daily experience. As a result, it’s time for school leaders to become professional risk managers who can lead productive conversations across the school community about risk and learning. It’s also time for teachers who lead off-campus programs (local or global) to receive annual training in how to manage off-campus risks, but also how to connect learning with off-campus experiences.

World Leadership School offers a one-day trip leader training workshop, which integrates trip design and structure (including options for ground support), risk assessment tools and awareness, emergency management, group dynamics, and curricular integration strategies. Our trainings are designed to be immersive experiences that challenge faculty to think in new ways, ask each other tough questions, and delve into real-life emergency management scenarios. WLS also offers a half-day administrator workshop that includes review and assessment of global programs, student application and screening processes, behavioral and expulsion policies, insurance, use of contractors, incident tracking and review, employee policies and procedures, trip leader selection and training, and school-wide processes and policies around managing risks. Ideally, this half-day workshop takes place the day before the trip leader workshop.

Note: World Leadership School does not take responsibility for legal guidance around waivers and other paperwork, as legal requirements vary between states and should be determined by the school’s legal counsel.

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