EducationWorld is pleased to present this article from Teachers International Consultancy, an organization that provides recruitment and training services tailored specifically to international schools and teachers worldwide.
Ever thought of teaching abroad? Educators who’ve taken the leap to work internationally cite many advantages, both personal and professional, offered by the experience.
|Teaching overseas can be a life-changing experience.|
Charles Tripolone left his teaching job in Australia 10 years ago. Since then, he has taught at an international school in Turkey and the International School Aamby in India. Now he works with Taaleem Edison Learning, in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Education Council, as a science consultant for schools in the United Arab Emirates.
Of his experience in India, he said, “The monsoons were fascinating for science teaching; soil erosion and sedimentation could easily be taught through real-life experiences.”
“International teaching has definitely been a positive move for me,” he added. “You just learn so much by moving out of your comfort zone. I’ve learned five languages at various levels, traveled to about 100 countries, taught a whole mix of national and international curricula, and done things I never thought I’d do before I left Australia,” he said. “I’ve got so much more confidence because I’ve not been placed in one education system for an extended period of time. As for teaching in India, that experience definitely helped me to calm down. Life happens at a much calmer pace there.”
In India, Charles taught Science and IT at the International School Aamby, where he worked with a wide range of curricula. “I really enjoyed the blending of different curricula, as it helped me crystallize in my mind how children learn best. This definitely benefited my career.”
As is the case with most international schools, the students at Aamby were a mix of local and expatriate children, all learning through the medium of English. Charles worked alongside U.K., American, Indian and other Australian teachers. “It’s a great atmosphere,” he said. “International school teachers are all very supportive of each other. And the children are fantastic. Their behavior is excellent. You never need to raise your voice. I spend most of my time teaching rather than managing behaviour, and that makes such a difference academically and on a personal level, too.”
Charles is one of over 260,000 English-speaking teachers now teaching internationally, and many more are heading that way thanks to the significant growth in international schools. In the last year alone, over 500 new English-speaking international schools opened across the globe, taking the total number of international schools worldwide to 5,700. This is anticipated to grow to 8,000 international schools within five years, according to data provided by ISC Research, the organization that analyzes developments in the international schools market.
“English is the language of choice for international schools wherever they may be in the world. So if you’re an English-speaking teacher and have a few years teaching experience, you can literally work anywhere in the world,” said Andrew Wigford, director of Teachers International Consultancy (TIC), the international school recruitment organization that helped Charles find his job.
Charles offered this advice to teachers considering working in an international school: “Do your homework. Make sure it’s somewhere you’d like to live for a while. Research the school and the contract they offer. Ask as many questions as you can before you make the decision; it’s important to know exactly what you’re getting into. Use all resources available to you including friends, recommendations, the Internet and specialist organizations. You also need to be very flexible and accommodating to changes along the way. TIC provided me with a lot of insight and guidance that I couldn’t get anywhere else. They helped to match me with the right job and, before my interview, spoke to the school about me. That was all so important, and it was much better than applying independently.”
As for his home in Sydney, Australia, Charles said he does miss it, along with his family and friends. “The Internet can sometimes be patchy and communication can be a bit of an issue, but I wouldn’t have missed these opportunities for anything,” he said. “There’s a whole world out there, and the options for me are tremendous. This experience has opened up many new doors and when I’m ready, I’ll head back home. But not for a while!”
For more advice about international teaching opportunities, visit the Teachers International Consultancy Web site at www.findteachingjobsoverseas.co.uk.
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