“Never give up on anybody.”
Leaving your job as an international schoolteacher is a daunting proposition. Teachers need to resign from their current job, grovel for letters of recommendation, update their portfolio and resume, fly to job fairs (best described as speed dating), wait for positions to open up and hope for the best. It is an extremely stressful time that every veteran international schoolteacher understands. It is sometimes months before finding new employment.
My current situation was a little desperate. I attended two job fairs (one in London and one in Hong Kong) only to lose out to lesser-qualified candidates. I was a very strong candidate. Alas, teaching couples got first dibs for they are cheaper to insure, house and transport. My beautiful wife is a non-teaching spouse so I had to wait for the couples to fill up the open spots. It is frustrating to hear that you are the most qualified candidate but that you cannot be hired because you are too expensive.
Flying back from the London job fair without a teaching contract and with my tail between my legs is a memory I will not soon forget. I left both job fairs feeling scared, tired and stressed. What good is all my hard work if I cannot secure a decent living? This was especially a concern of mine now that my wife is expecting our first child. Losing out was a lonely, humbling experience.
With each passing job interview, I reflected how much I have improved as a professional teacher. Due to my current school’s development opportunities, I now am much more confident in my abilities to affect change among my students. I remain steadfast that I will continue to improve as an educator. I am at peace with myself and proud of my growth.
Mercifully, I have secured a place in Jordan with the International Academy, Amman. I could not be much more excited about the transition. Along with teaching fourth grade, I hope to coach aspiring teachers. I look to develop curriculum. I plan to volunteer. I am registering to study Arabic. Along with Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah; I aim to help“build bridges with the world community.” I look to actively teach peace in a yet another corner of the world that could use it.