U.S.-Mexico Foundation

Classrooms without a Border

Enseña por México CEO, Erik Ramírez and USMF CEO Rebeca Vargas with some of the young professionals participating in the exchange

The “Classrooms without a Border” (“Aulas sin Frontera”) program is a US-Mexico binational teacher exchange program between Teach for America Corps members and Enseña por México PEMs (Profesionales de Enseña por México) sponsored by the U.S.-Mexico Foundation with support from the Western Union Foundation and other institutions.  The program brings together young leaders from both sides of the border who are committed to improving education in their countries to share experiences and teaching methods and learn from each other.

 

The USMF is proud to partner with our grantee Enseña por Mexico in the design of Aulas Sin Frontera and to fund programs like “Classrooms without a Border” which further its mission of developing civic leadership through innovative education models, and fostering greater understanding and cooperation between the two countries.

 

2016 Classrooms Without a Border

• In its third year of operation, the 2016 edition of Aulas Sin Frontera had 130 participants overall.

• 53 PEMs were placed in TFA schools in over 27 US cities in the states of California, Colorado, Arizona, South Carolina, Maryland, Texas, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Washington D.C., Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, for one-week periods between February and June 2016.

• 53 Teach for America Corps members were placed in Mexican public schools in 16 cities in the states of Puebla, Nuevo León, Estado de México, Jalisco, Guanajuato, Chiapas, Chihuahua y Sonora, where Enseña por México already has a presence ,for one-week periods between February and June 2016.

• Young leaders from both programs spent time in each other's classrooms, sharing experiences and teaching methods, as well as each other’s culture, fostering understanding and cooperation between the members of Teach for America and Enseña por México.

• This year, the students in both the U.S. and Mexico were also able to participate in cross-border exchange activities, such as writing letters to students in the other country.

• The program was officially launched on April 21st 2015 in an event that drew more than 200 people to the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores in Mexico City and featured remarks from, José Paulo Carreño King, Undersecretary for North America. SRE; Rebeca Vargas, President and CEO of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation; Rodrigo García Estebarena, President of the Western Union Foundation; and Erik Ramirez, President of Enseña por Mexico; as well as alumni of the program.

 

“Aulas Sin Frontera is a very good example of the kind of programs the Proyecta 100,000 initiative seeks to promote. Through this exchange, young Mexican professionals benefit from an experience that expands their horizons and gives them new opportunities for professional development””, mentioned José Paulo Carreño King, Undersecretary for North America.

 

“We are very proud to have cooperated with Enseña since the beginning on this initiative which has managed to establish wide ties of cooperation between young professionals in both countries. Through this program, professionals gain  a better understanding of the limitations and challenges faced by teachers on both sides of the border, as well as the similarities between pupils. At the same time, Mexican professionals learn innovative teaching practices whilst Americans learn about Mexican culture.” mentioned Rebeca Vargas, President and CEO, US-Mexico Foundation.

 

“We are very thankful to the USMF for its continued  strategic cooperation in helping us design the program. We are also thankful to both the USMF and the Western Union Foundation for finnancially supporting the implementation of this program. It would not have been possible without their contribution” said Erik Ramírez, CEO of  Enseña por México.

 

2015 Classrooms without a Border

  • 106 PEMs  were placed in TFA schools in 7 US cities: : Dallas, San Diego, Phoenix, Houston, San Antonio, Durham and Los Angeles for 1 week periods between March 29th and April 12th

  • 24 Teach for America Corps members were placed in Mexican public schools in the states of Puebla, Monterrey and Guanajuato, where Enseña por México operates,for 1 week periods between March 17th and April 15th

  • Young leaders from both programs spent time in each other's classrooms, sharing experiences and teaching methods, as well as each other’s culture, fostering understanding and cooperation between the members of  Teach for America and Enseña por México

  • The program was officially launched on March 11th 2015 in an event that drew more than 200 people to the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores in Mexico City and featured remarks from Dr. Sergio Alcocer, Subsecretary for North America, SRE; Rebeca Vargas, President and CEO of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation; Patrick Gaston, President of the Western Union Foundation; Wendy Kopp, CEO and co-founder of Teach for All and Erik Ramirez, President of Enseña por Mexico


A TFA Corps member and a visiting PEM take a classroom portrait in San Antonio, TX

Teach For America Corps members and Enseña por México PEMs explore San Antonio, TX together during the exchange

 

Testimonials from the 2015 Classrooms without a Border Exchange:

"This experience has been enormously meaningful  on  a  personal  and  professional  level.    I  have  brought  back  to  Mexico  new  lessons  and aspirations in order to successfully continue my mission of motivating and shaping talented youth and sending them from theclassroom into the world.  I will treasure the memories of the people I met as a source of inspiration and generosity."--Miguel Perez, PEM, Puebla  

"During my time in Mexico, I experienced a shift in perspective. My time  with  PEMS,  and  in  the  classroom,  made me  think  globally...I am a part of a much bigger movement. This movement crosses borders to bring classroom leaders together. I work for Teach for All.”--Brianna Billingsley, TFA Crops member

 

2014 Pilot Program:

The 2015 “Classroom without Borders” program follows and expands a pilot launched in the spring of 2014, with funding from the USMF, which brought together 20 PEMs from the state of Puebla with 10 of their Teach for America counterparts in Dallas, TX during one week long visits to each other schools’.


Testimonials from the 2014 Pilot:
“This exchange was characterized by sharing experiences, knowledge, ideas and feelings  about education and its important  role in modern societies, and both PEMs and Corp Members agree that education is essential for the reconstruction of a society”—Luis Alberto Beltrán Flores, PEM

“Professionally, I take home new ideas and strategies which I believe will help my students  because I have seen that they are working very well in Dallas.  I made contacts with whom I'm sure I will stay in touch and bring home the great  satisfaction of meeting people who  share the same commitment to  improve the quality of education in our countries”—Sarai Rosas Trujillo, PEM

 
 

About Enseña por México:


In 2013, the USMF provided catalytic funding and support to launch Enseña por Mexico, bringing the Teach for America model to Mexico for the first time, recruiting top-level college graduates to commit to 2 years of teaching in underserved public schools.  In September 2013, the first group of Enseña por México corp members (Profesionales de Enseña por México, known as PEMs for short) began working with students in the  states of Puebla and Estado de Mexico.  Since its launch, the program has continued to expand, reaching 3 new states (Guanajuato, Chihuahua and Nuevo León) in 2014 and preparing to grow to new states in 2015.

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