from the USA,
teaching in Amman, Jordan.
Enjoying a slower pace of life and running from the Dead to the Red Sea are two highlights from the past twelve months for teacher, Florian Baciu.
After teaching at The Academy of the Fox Cities in Appleton, Wisconsin for five years, Florian packed his books and his bags and moved to the International Academy-Amman in Jordan. “I wanted the diversity of the students and the experiences that come with international teaching,” explains Florian. “I’m learning a lot professionally and personally while working abroad.”
The opportunities available
In his hunt for an international teaching job, Florian registered with Teachers International Consultancy (TIC), a specialist recruitment organisation that helps English-speaking teachers from all over the world find teaching jobs in international schools. “There are now 6,000 international schools around the world all of which teach using the language of English,” says Andrew Wigford, Director of TIC. “And they are increasing,” he adds. Just ten years ago there were only a few hundred international schools. Now there are several thousand and they are growing in popularity as the demand for places from both expatriate and local families increases. “In virtually every major city you’ll find at least one international school, says Andrew. “In Dubai alone there are currently 178 international schools and demand is still outstripping supply!” Andrew explains that some of these schools are American international schools or follow an American curriculum, while others follow other national curricula or use international curricula such as the International Baccalaureate or the International Primary Curriculum. Many international schools, says Andrew, deliver a very high standard of teaching and learning and enjoy an excellent reputation within their locality.
As for Florian, he was particularly attracted to the International Academy in Amman because of its reputation and the opportunity to teach in an IB World School. “I did not have any practical experience in this curriculum but I always believed in the philosophy of the IBO so I’m very excited to be able to teach it now and already I have benefitted from invaluable professional development and work experience in both areas of the IB that I’m currently teaching (Humanities in the Middle Years Program and the Diploma Program).”
It is an experience that Florian is relishing. “I’ve learnt as much in one year here as I would have learnt in three years in the States,” he says. “Being away teaches one a lot about one’s limits, talents and capabilities,” he adds. “I’m enjoying my students immensely; even if they are so different to other students I’ve previously taught. I like to think I will be a life-long lasting influence in their lives.” He praises the Jordanian faculty too: “Everyone is lovely and so different in pedagogical approaches. We learn a lot from each other,” explains Florian. “It’s nice to see so many expats who are using their experiences from their countries of origin to influence and improve the education at IAA.”
A different lifestyle
There are several lifestyle differences in Jordan that Florian is enjoying compared to life back in the US. “The work environment is not as fast paced; it’s ok to be late for meetings,” he says. “Time is a different story here and it’s relaxing to take things easy for a change.” Florian finds the students quite different too. “They are more group oriented and their families are very well connected,” he explains. “My 7th graders were able to organize and follow through with a service learning trip on their own – with the help of their parents. I was very impressed,” he says, adding that it can be difficult and yet interesting to teach Palestinian children about the duality of their national struggle. “It’s an honor to be part of a school that’s a model of excellence for schools all over Jordan,” he adds.
But it’s not just been the teaching that’s made life in Jordan a great success so far for Florian. “Running the Dead to Red Sea relay marathon with colleagues and students was probably one of the highlights of my past year,” he says. Travel opportunities have also been in abundance. “The school organizes trips and activities through its social committee and Amman is well connected with flights to many intriguing places,” says Florian. Closer to home, he has also enjoyed meeting the locals through colleagues at school and when out in town.”
So what is Florian’s advice to teachers considering moving overseas to work? “Go for it!” he urges. “I love my experience here. You will learn to become a better person and see the world through other cultures’ and people’s eyes. The limits of our language are the limits of our world! Living abroad with people so different allows you to enrich your personal and professional life and creates the opportunity to make a difference in so many people’s lives.”
For more information, including details of forthcoming informational webinars about the opportunities available for teaching in international schools, contact Teachers International Consultancy (TIC) at http://www.findteachingjobsoverseas.co.uk TIC i.s a specialist recruitment organisation which helps English-speaking teachers from all over the world find teaching jobs in international schools.
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