Look Before You Jump...International Teaching

Look Before You Jump...International Teaching

You sign your dream job in a country that gives the opportunity to explore a new culture, travel and develop as an educator. The school is highly regarded, well led, offers great potential development and has a supportive environment. Everything has been ticked off the wish list... a career defining role. Its an incredibly exciting time. As you land at the airport thoughts are rushing through your head about what what's to come.

Working as an international teacher is extremely rewarding but from most teachers we speak to, once you have arrived in your ideal position, the first two weeks are crucial in establishing yourself. For some teachers this is their first international role and moving across continents without family can be stressful.

My first experience of arriving in Qatar three years ago, was fairly intense. After being picked up from the airport by a taxi and dropped off at the accommodation, I realised I had no idea where I was relative to the school, hospital, airport, shops and with no internet connection this was an experience that tested my nerves. Since then and rightly so the school has changed the way it welcomes new teachers/leaders. Good schools have established protocols in place, where communication starts well before you arrive in the country. Some schools will even put on webinars for new staff before arriving. Expectations are made clear and important information such as culture, location, upcoming events and what to expect as soon as you touch down are explained clearly.

After touch down and you've settled into your accommodation, visited the school, met with the SLT and other staff, you can relax into the way things are done in the country and school.

There are probably two key ingredients for a successful international teaching move:

1) Securing a position in a school that really knows what they're doing and communication begins well before you arrive.

2) A two week block of mega resilience - it will be hard without friends and family, a new country, culture and potentially a very different way of doing things. Very exciting but there could be moments of "What on earth am I doing here!".

But it will be worth it, its a truly amazing experience, possibly - maybe even go as far as a privilege. To be welcomed into another a culture, where you will make friends from around the world, get the chance to travel and teach in a class where you may have up 15 or more different nationalities who all bring their own experience. Taking yourself outside your comfort zone where you can grow as an educator and personally. International teaching is most definitely worth pursuing.

At PureTeach our partner schools, who ask us to recruit for teaching and leadership positions have outstanding communication and systems in place to ensure your transition into international teaching is smooth and as stress free as possible:) Look before you jump, but definitely jump...