Operations and Management

Educational leaders manage school operations and resources to support staff and student global competence development. This includes allocating existing resources toward professional learning and development, instructional materials, and staff positions that support global competence; supporting the development of new resources to enhance global competence efforts; providing staff financial support when they travel abroad for professional teaching, research, and learning (e.g., offering continued insurance coverage, sabbaticals); and reviewing and revising school and district policies to support global learning opportunities.

Yes, the challenges of building a substitute bank that allows teachers to travel abroad and having the budget to pay for meaningful global professional learning experiences can be dictated by forces outside of the control of school leaders, such as state legislatures or local tax streams. However, school leaders still have agency in providing sufficient resources for global learning by finding creative external sources of funding, such as grants from local foundations, and courageously advocating for policy changes that facilitate global competence development.

Tenet in Action

Educational leaders manage school operations and resources to support staff and student global competence development. Globally competent educational leaders:

  • Allocate existing resources towards professional learning and development, instructional materials, and staff positions that support global competence 

  • Support the development of new resources to enhance global competence efforts 

  • Provide staff financial support when they travel abroad for professional teaching, research, and learning (e.g., offering continued insurance coverage, sabbaticals) 

  • Review and revise school and district policies to support global learning opportunities

Suggested Activities: Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment

First Steps

  • Budget existing professional development money towards professional global learning experiences (e.g., in-house professional development, teacher exchange programs) 
  • Schedule at least one global competence professional development into schoolwide professional learning calendar 
  • Support the research of grant and other opportunities to fund global competence initiatives (e.g., through foundations, universities, local business)

Deeper Dives

  • Support the application of grants and other opportunities to fund global competence initiatives 

  • Build partnerships with businesses and universities to connect staff and students with global experts, mentors, internships, and externships 

  • Solicit financial and in-kind support for global learning experiences for teachers and students through local parent-teacher associations, philanthropy, foundations, businesses, and chambers of commerce 

  • Schedule consistent global competence professional development throughout the school year

Full Immersion

  • Build a substitute bank to allow staff to take extended leaves for exchange programs abroad 

  • Financially support travel opportunities for teachers; for example, by creating study abroad scholarship opportunities or conference stipends 

  • Create a global coordinator position within the school 

  • Actively recruit other school leaders in your PLC and mentor their efforts to integrate global perspectives into their school environment


Case Studies

Allocating existing resources towards professional learning and staff positions that support global competence.

Mr. Brent Wozniak, Chief Academic Officer, Vaughn Next Century Learning Center, Pacoima, CA

Mr. Wozniak intentionally uses existing fiscal resources to carve out time to better support teachers’ global competence development. He shares, “When we first started the global work at the high school, we were sending people out to conferences and bringing coaches in. Myself and the school director came together and asked, ‘How can we provide more time for collaboration beyond one and a half hours on a Tuesday? If we’re going to expect our teachers to do this work, how much time would they truly need and in what ways would it be well spent?’ Teachers told us, ‘Give us the time, and we will give you great units aligned to global competence.’ So, we determined what it would cost us to pay for subs to provide more time for our department or grade level teams to meet internally. We took those early adopters and gave them a room and food for a day. The tradeoff for the day was when they walked out the door, they had to show us a unit of study that they were trying to implement that semester. That was nine years ago, and we’re still doing that.”

To this day, every semester, teachers have a full planning day where they bring their laptops and units of study, and get to work. Mr. Wozniak shares, “It’s magic. They work the entire time.” Mr. Wozniak brought this model to the middle school and elementary school as well; because the elementary school has so many more teachers, however, they created a capacity-building cohort (the same people over a couple of years) and exposure cohort (with ten new people each time to keep the costs manageable.

Mr. Wozniak emphasizes that this planning day isn’t a heavy financial burden. It’s a matter of choice. His school puts a line item in their curriculum development and professional development budget for substitutes while teachers develop global units. He shares, “Other school leaders I talk to have the capacity to do that, and have control of the budget at least on a small scale. There’s obviously lots of strategies and standards, and there’s always something you have to do. But there are only certain things we prioritize and hold up as sacred.” Mr. Wozniak believes the pay-off is well worth it: “Nothing will frustrate a teacher more than not giving teachers the time to do something you tell them to do. When you give teachers that time, they will be more likely to get on board and dig deeply into the work.” He concludes, “It’s about making strategic choices with what you have. For example, you make the choice to forgo building a virtual reality lab versus paying for subs to get teacher planning time. You can get as much equipment as you want, but if you aren’t preparing educators to effectively use it, then it doesn’t matter.”

Dr. Tom Buffett, Principal, Lewton Global Studies/Spanish Immersion Magnet School, Lansing, MI

Dr. Buffett strategically uses federal grant and Title I money to support global learning. Using monies from his district’s federal magnet grant, he created two “focus teacher” positions for global studies and Spanish immersion. These focus teachers concentrate on instruction, modeling lessons, coaching teachers, maintaining community partnerships, and organizing school events so that teachers don’t see global learning as “one more thing to do” but as a way to teach the curriculum that places global competence at the center of instruction. When the magnet grant ended he subsequently cobbled together Title I and II money and general funds to continue the work. He uses that same pot of money for global professional development for teachers as well. With the magnet grant money, he budgeted to pay his teachers to stay after school a few days a month for collaborative professional development, and now uses Title I money for a summer institute focused on global project-based learning. Supporting the development of new resources to enhance global competence efforts.

Mr. Cliff Hong, Principal, Roosevelt Middle School, Oakland, CA

Mr. Hong has dedicated a lot of effort into finding grants to redefine and develop programs to meet the school’s innovative mission. He points out that the Bay Area hosts many community-based organizations and foundations that have money to give to schools. He explains, “What I’ve discovered in being a school leader is that there are funders out there looking for schools to contribute funds where they think their contributions will lead to success. The question for us was whether our school was ready to access those funds.” Under the leadership of Mr. Hong, Roosevelt Middle School linked up with the Next Generation Learning Challenges Network, which provides funding and technical support to help schools become more innovative. The school put together a grant development team and won a planning and launch grant through the network, which helped them refine the work at their school. Since then, the school has continued to raise money via grants through other funders in that network.

Mr. Hong provides tips to successfully accrue external funding: “Because all that grant money is very limited and short term, the goal is to use the grant money to do the thinking and development behind a new program, and to run the program using public funds.” He also put himself in charge of the grants for strategic reasons. “As the principal, I do the grants, because I have all of the information around our school to see what we can and can’t do given capacity. I’m the initial filter, then it goes to strategic people on our team, or our school design team and school leadership team, which includes teachers.” Finally, he points out that having a stable team and a consistent staff and faculty has attracted financial supporters.

Advocating for and utilizing district policies that support global learning opportunities.

Mr. Julian Hipkins, Global Studies Coordinator, Theodore Roosevelt High School, Washington, DC

DCPS has a robust global education program, and Mr. Hipkins has leveraged the district’s support of global education to enhance global learning at Roosevelt. Among his other responsibilities, Mr. Hipkins supports teachers across the school so that they have what they need to teach with a global perspective, provides professional development to colleagues in and outside his building, and schedules and regularly welcomes international guests to the school. Mr. Hipkins recognizes multiple dimensions of the students’ interactions with visitors, stating, “As a global studies school, we receive many visitors throughout the year. These guests provide different points of view for our school community while giving us an opportunity to share our story.”

Mr. Hipkins also makes sure that Roosevelt High School students take advantage of the various global initiatives that the district’s Global Education unit oversees, including DCPS Study Abroad, which gives 8th and 11th grade students studying a world language the opportunity to apply to an international exchange program. “The opportunity gap is one of the biggest areas I think about every day. If we continue to provide opportunities for our students, and show them the value of those opportunities, they will take advantage of them and thrive in the process.” Early outcome data on the study abroad program supports his theory. He also participates in the Global Studies School Network, consisting of an elementary school, a middle school, and Roosevelt High School, that works with Harvard University’s Project Zero to connect content and teaching to global issues and serves on an advisory panel for the Global Education unit.

Additional Resources

Grey, B. (2016, June 6). Ten outside school fundraising strategies. School Leaders Now.

Hindman, J. (2012). Effective teacher interviews: How do I hire good teachers? Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

School District of Philadelphia. (2017, March). Guide to grant writing and fundraising for schools.

The Council for Corporate and School Partnerships. (n.d.). A how-to guide for school-business partnerships.