A Note From Our CEO on COVID-19 and Our Global Network

Wendy Kopp, CEO & Co-founder, Teach For All

As we face this global pandemic, I wanted to share some thoughts about how Teach For All is responding to the rapidly evolving situation that is now touching everyone in our global community both personally and professionally. 

While schools will be gradually re-opening in China by mid-April, they’re shutting down around much of the rest of the world. Our network partners are working to support their teachers to help the students and families who have been or will be hit hardest by this situation, even as they support their team members and begin to consider the strategic implications for their organizations.

Like many in the world, we are beginning to think deeply about what this era requires us to do and how it calls on us to lead. We do know that even in these uncertain times, we will need to pursue our mission with more energy than ever, given that there will be such devastating downstream effects of this pandemic, particularly in the under-resourced communities where our network partners work.

A few of our network partners have had weeks and months to learn how to navigate this situation within their countries, and there’s a real opportunity to learn from them and to engage all the organizations in our network to learn with and alongside others. Teach For All partners are helping each other strategize around how to support their teachers, students, and families, and also about how to work virtually to recruit participants and move selection systems and pre-service training institutes to virtual platforms. Within our global organization, we will continue learning about the emerging needs partners have as they confront this crisis, and we’ll work to create the space and platforms to foster sharing of ideas and strategies in all these areas. We are also drawing from the expertise our network has amassed over the last decade about how to run inclusive virtual learning experiences and how to foster community remotely. Our team developed this Virtual Navigator as a resource hub to support network partners in implementing virtual learning and convenings for staff, participants, recruits, and other stakeholders. 

We are fortunate to have this global network committed to the value of interdependence and to learning from each other. We will continue to be there for each other as we navigate and process all of this personally, with our students and communities, with staff members and supporters, and as we think about what this time in the world calls upon us to do.   

Especially in these times when we’re all reminded of our mortality and our humanity, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to work with such extraordinary individuals, teams, and communities around the globe. There is such power, as we know, in collective leadership—and I have no doubt that together, we will navigate this crisis as well and as humanely as possible.