What’s the best thing about teaching overseas?

Published on 26th January, 2016 by Anne Keeling. Published in For Candidates / TIC News

TIC teacher Louise McBride talks about her experiences teaching abroad

Louise McBride is a teacher from Ontario, Canada. She has taught at several international schools around the world and has used TIC to help her in her job hunting. Louise reflects on how much she has gained from teaching internationally:

“Working internationally as a school teacher provides you with so many opportunities to grow, travel and develop as a person. It teaches you many things about yourself, what you are capable of, and gives you a unique perspective on teaching that those who have never done it simply cannot appreciate.

The school I recently worked at in Mexico, Edron Academy, was not the first international school I've taught at, but working there was a very valuable experience. I was able to use the tools from previous experiences to be successful in my teaching position at the school. For example, teaching internationally has helped me to be open-minded. When going into a school, I understand that even though you may be teaching a familiar curriculum, each school has its own unique approach to how they implement, monitor and evaluate all aspects of curriculum. I've learnt that if you're willing to learn new ways of doing things, you will be able to apply these new approaches in a wide variety of situations, no matter where you find yourself teaching or working next.”

New cultures, new experiences

“For me, the best part of living in a new country is immersing myself in the local culture.

One way to do this is to develop a basic understanding of the local language. Generally speaking, people really appreciate that you take the time to learn their language and are often more willing to offer you help and answer any questions you may have.

In my many years overseas I have gained so many new friends from all over the world with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds. I have been fortunate enough to have many wonderful experiences and to gain a unique understanding of how the world works in different places. In each country I've lived in, I have tried new things such as
desert driving, snorkeling, climbing pyramids, caving, a Mexican cooking class...The possibilities are endless if you are simply open minded and willing to try!”

Feeling supported

“I found that working with Teachers International Consultancy (TIC) was easy - they were very supportive. When I was placed at my school they would check in with me periodically to make sure that I was settling in and having a good time. They made sure that I was given all of the support necessary. For me it is important to know that someone is looking out for you when you are so far away from your family and friends.”

Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

“This year I've moved on to be a phase co-ordinator and Kindergarten team leader for a Canadian School in Muscat, Oman. This allows me to have the best of both worlds – a familiar curriculum model with all of the benefits and exciting features of living and working abroad.

I have gained so much from teaching internationally - it has made me a person that my friends and family are incredibly proud of. It is a big decision to leave your comfort zone and to branch out and try new things but I always think of the old adage, nothing ventured nothing gained!”

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Anne Keeling

Anne handles the media relations for TIC. She researches and writes the articles that appear in the press and on websites about how TIC is supporting teachers and the international schools, and how teachers who have been placed by TIC are getting on with their international teaching experience. She has spent over 25 years in media relations.