Crossing educational borders : the impact of international experiences on teachers
Schools serve as a site for the development of complex social, cultural, and linguistic identities; the permeability of borders is not only evident in students, but also in teachers. As an effort to promote the learning of various world languages, the visiting teacher program offered by The Nebraska Department of Education has intentionally crossed borders and brought several teachers from China, Spain, Mexico, and elsewhere to Nebraska to the United States. These teachers not only diversify these American schools, but also try to teach students the linguistic and cultural skills needed to be successful in an interconnected world. This paper describes the visiting teacher program offered by The Nebraska Department of Education and focuses on the perspectives of the administrators involved in bringing Spanish language teachers from Spain and Mexico to meet the needs of Nebraska schools. Specifically, this paper explores the factors that have motivated the creation of the program and the benefits that the department expects teachers and their respective countries to gain from their experience teaching in the US. The implications of this study suggest how the concepts of border crossing and immigration can influence the promotion of a cosmopolitan education in state policies and programs with emphasis on the roles and experiences of the teacher.