This month, yet again, I am off to London and Hong Kong to attend two job fairs. I hope to sign a contract with a “just-right” school. I intend to find an international school that provides dynamic professional development, a challenging curriculum, a collaborative philosophy and a worthy mission statement. It is a wildly exciting time in my career.
I have been extremely fortunate to receive extensive professional development at my current school. Still, enhancing my skills as a teacher is an utmost priority. I imagine it is probably time to apply for leadership roles, as well.
I am truly humbled by the many recent opportunities that have already come my way. I have heard encouraging responses from international schools in the United States, Japan, Singapore, Chile, Hong Kong, Hungary, and Switzerland. I am grateful to have received formal offers of employment from schools in Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
One particularly captivating school is Branksome Hall of Jeju Island, South Korea. Branksome is an outstanding boarding school for girls. It is most definitely “cutting edge.” On their application, Branksome asks how I would help to “empower women?” This got me thinking to what exactly I do offer my students.
The following is my latest thinking about my hopes for each boy and girl in my classroom.
As an elementary school teacher, I demand that my students:
- Improve their STEM skills
- Read, write and think with stamina and confidence
- Recognize and develop habits of mind
- Self-direct their learning
- Understand by design
- Value diverse thinking
- Help develop a learning community
- Act responsibly
- Notice the ever-changing beauty of mathematics, especially problem solving
- Overcome obstacles
- Find and follow their passions
- Visualize a better world.
- Continue to find joy in learning.
- Welcome an enhanced work ethic
As a professional educator, I aspire to:
- Constantly improve student learning
- Constantly push for a differentiated curriculum
- Share my expertise with my fellow teachers
- Learn from my fellow teachers
- Model excellence
- Support professional development options
- Lead, when appropriate
- Be willing to change
- Inspire all around me
My career has taken me to Singapore, Washington DC, Japan and Hong Kong. I estimate that I have spent an entire month of my life in the air and goodness knows, how many miles I have travelled. I do this all in order to grow as an educator while trying to carve out a more interesting life.
Fellow teachers looking to make the move overseas; feel free to write me an email. I promise to answer any questions or concerns. Expatriate living has made me a better teacher. I highly recommend it.