Monday, December 14, 2009

Could this year be the year?

I've been thinking about it for a *long* time. Could this year finally be the year that I decide to work at an international school?

I have wanted to work at an international school since before I started teaching. At first I thought I'd teach two years in NYC and then immediately apply to work abroad. I quickly realized I'd need at least three years to be ready to leave New York (both financially and mentally). At the beginning of my fourth year I even had the international school fairs on my calendar but by the time they rolled around I knew I still wasn't ready to leave. Now it's my fifth year and I think I'm finally ready. In part my travels in the Middle East this summer have inspired me to go abroad and do something exciting again. Especially since I fell in love with Beirut (like I knew I would) and even visited the two American schools there. Lebanon has been my first choice for teaching abroad for a long time. Another factor has been my boredom with school lately. At the end of last year I started feeling that I was getting into a rut and it came right back at the beginning of this year. I need a new school, a new environment, just *newness* to keep me interested. Five years in the same city and with the same job is a really long time for me.

For the job fairs you have to specify three regions that you would be willing to go to (and by "regions" they mean continents). My first choice will be Lebanon (followed by elsewhere in the Middle East), then Europe or South America.

I took the first step yesterday and started an application to go to an international school job fair at the beginning of February! Today, I even brought it up to my principal. I need her (and two others to be references on the application). She was really excited for me and the realized it would be "really sad" to not have me at the school next year. She said it would be hard to replace me. (Awww!) Now I just have to line up one more reference and submit my application.

I feel like things could start happening quickly.


NCavillones said...

So exciting! Keep us posted on your progress! Your principal sounds amazing, and it sounds like if you wanted, you could have your job back when you return.

Ms. M said...

Yeah, at first she was thinking I meant that I'd leave for a year and then come back. When I said it would be two years at least, that's when she started realizing she'd have to replace me.

Anonymous said...

Wow! It's so brave to pick up go - you'll be amazing, too. I hope you get something in Beirut!


collegelister said...

Hi there! I just came across your blog and love all the detail you've provided! I just had my final interview with TFA and am now waiting to hear from them ::crosses fingers:: It's torture having to wait a whole 2 months! Anyway, even if I don't get it, I would like to be a teacher, and I've been thinking a lot about ESL. I've gotten a decent sense of the experience from your blog, but was hoping you could go through a "typical day" and what you do exactly. I am from NY so I would probably go to Hunter for graduate school. The decision is whether to do ESL or elementary Ed and as you seem to know, it's a tough decision! You are a great resource to me right now so please, anything would help :-)

Josie Freeman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
collegelister said...

I just realized I didn't leave my email address-sorry! its I hope to hear from you!!

Urban School Teacher said...

Take a look at the Bluewater School on Koh Samui, Thailand. said...

I am teaching at my second international school, and I can't recommend it highly enough. But you do have to be careful and do a lot of research before you go to the fairs - there are a lot of very shady (or at least highly unprofessional) for-profit schools out there. I would recommend leaving yourself open to any region, and going to the fairs open to any location. Both of my job have been in completely unexpected places, and I've been very happy.

Do you know the International School Review website? Take everything you read there with a huge barrel of salt - it's always easier to write negative things, and many of the commenting teachers have an obvious agenda - but it can give you an idea of which schools are most reputable.

Good luck! I think you will love it.

Anonymous said...

You sign up for a two year commitment, and often the school gives you money to help you make the move.You're expected to stay the two years, and if you don't, you have to pay the money back - usually around 1000-2000 Euros. Email me for more info, or send me a message on facebook!

Can't wait to hear of your adventures!