Global Classroom Gets a New Team Member

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Ryan Hauck, Global Classroom Director

Building and sustaining global citizens in greater Seattle starts in our schools. For nearly 20 years, the World Affairs Council’s Global Classroom has worked in K-12 schools and with K-12 teachers to ensure that global issues and global competencies are core parts of students’ learning. Recently, a new face joined the team, bringing years of experience and tremendous enthusiasm for our mission. If you’re familiar with the Council’s Global Classroom program, you’ll immediately recognize Ryan Hauck, who is our new director of Global Classroom and has been charged with enhancing and expanding our global education work. Ryan has been a participant in Global Classroom since the beginning. We are thrilled that he is now leading it.

Ryan is a teacher at Glacier Peak High School who consistently brings an infectious enthusiasm to the classroom. He has traveled to Nigeria six times to work with a local NGO and build a library; he’s journeyed to southern Africa on a Fulbright Hays program; he’s collaborated with the International Visitor program to introduce his students to social entrepreneurs from Mongolia, journalists from Palestine, a civil society watchdog group from Moldova, Russian educators, and Nigerian politicians, just to name a few. He’s traveled to Turkey on a two-week study tour through the Turkish Cultural Foundation, and, until the threat of violence compelled the State Department to delay the program, he was slated to go to Uganda this month for two weeks as part of the State Department’s “Teachers for Global Classrooms” program. He was also the World Affairs Council’s 2007 World Educator award recipient and he received the Global Ties Phyllis Layton Perry Educator of the Year award in 2010. Now he adds Global Classroom director to his resume as he brings an educator’s perspective to the Council’s global education outreach.

Ryan’s long involvement in Global Classroom gives him first-hand understanding and appreciation of how the World Affairs Council’s efforts in the classroom pay off in helping teachers bring global issues into their classrooms. Recently, Ryan addressed Council members at the annual General Meeting of the Council, which is both a chance to look back at past accomplishments and look forward to where the Council is heading. Bringing Ryan on underscores the Council’s commitment to global education as a core part of our mission. “As a high school teacher of international issues, I know first-hand how the Council has transformed my understanding of the world and that of my students,” Ryan said at the 2015 annual meeting. “The Global Classroom creates an opportunity for teachers to cultivate empathy, recognize diverse perspectives, and make connections between the local and the global.”

In addition to participating in Council professional development opportunities for teachers, Ryan is now responsible for creating curriculum on global issues to accompany the workshops, where the Council serves as both a curator and educator, offering resources and lesson plans that address Common Core and Washington State standards. He compiled a four-part series on “Fueling the Future: Peace or Conflict,” where teachers learn about the glaring issue of resource politics with specific case studies on Russia, China, Nigeria, and Venezuela. He also created a unit on conflict, human rights, and refugee populations in conjunction with a recent educator workshop on the Syrian refugee crisis, and he developed a lesson plan upon his return from the Turkey study tour. Ryan has also brought students to several World Affairs Council community programs including talks by Nicholas Kristof and President Jimmy Carter.

As Ryan settles into his new role as Global Classroom director, a renewed vision is evolving to enhance global education within our schools and community. “We want students to be able to compete in an ever-changing global marketplace,” Ryan said. “However, we also want them to be globally competent. We aim to create curriculum and programs that cultivate 21st century skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, research ability, communication, innovation, cross-cultural communication, and leadership.” Global Classroom plans to address this need for global competency by aligning its programs with the four pillars defined by the Asia Society: Investigate the World, Recognize Diverse Perspectives, Communicate Ideas, and Take Action. Global Classroom also aims to widen its audience across disciplines and age groups.

Students will play a vital role in creating and contributing to a just, peaceful, secure, inclusive, and sustainable society. It is clear that as informed and engaged citizens, students can and will play an important role not only as citizens of our state and nation, but the world. Under Ryan’s leadership, the Global Classroom program will have a far-reaching impact, bringing in more schools and teachers as partners and reaching more students with relevant programming. We look forward to engaging with schools, community members, and organizations in our community to empower students and teachers to proactively and thoughtfully respond to our local, national, and global challenges of the future.

To learn more about Global Classroom visit https://www.world-affairs.org/programs/global-classroom/.