How it Works

Each Classroom Connection experience is as unique as the teacher, volunteer, and students involved!

Teachers and international volunteers partner to create and deliver a customized program that:

  • Follows a repeat visit format. After an initial planning meeting with the teacher, an international volunteer visits students on three separate occasions. Each visit follows a similar structure that includes an introduction, short interactive presentation, hands-on activity, Q&A session, and closing.
  • Uses the Universals of Culture framework. Highlights building blocks common to all cultures (education, family, celebrations, clothes, food, games, values, etc.), and encourages the exploration of the ways in which they are experienced from one culture to another.
  • Engages international volunteers. Amazing individuals from across the world who currently live and study in our community give their time, talent, knowledge, and friendship. They serve as positive role models and are proud to share their perspectives, teach about their culture, and emphasize the importance of education by example.

Getting Started

Bring Classroom Connection to your students by taking the next step.

Step 1: Contact Tim Odegard, Program Director, with questions or to schedule an initial information meeting.

Step 2: Classroom Connection initial information meeting for teachers: Meet with Global Minnesota’s education team at a time that works for you. We provide teachers with additional information about the program, including the overarching Universals of Culture framework, strategies for successful cross-cultural communication, tips from teachers and volunteers who have participated in Classroom Connection, and program logistics. Teachers also share their interests in specific topics or countries and regions, and scheduling preferences for class visits.

Step 3: Global Minnesota identifies a volunteer, making every effort to find one from a preferred country or region of interest and whose schedule is compatible with the teacher(s).

Step 4: Planning meeting between teacher and volunteer: Global Minnesota introduces volunteers and teachers via email and facilitates an in-person meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to:

  1. allow volunteer and teacher to meet each other
  2. allow volunteer to get a sense of the school environment and learn any pertinent school policies (e.g., photography of/with students and visitor guidelines)
  3. brainstorm and plan content for the three class visits
  4. schedule the class visits during days and times that work for both teacher and volunteer
  5. exchange contact information for continued communications and planning

Step 5: Class visits begin!

It’s that simple! Global Minnesota is here to support teachers and volunteers, and help make the most out of every class visit. Want more information? Connect with us.