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Newbie advice, watch out for....

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by monarchbutterflies, May 10, 2016.

  1. monarchbutterflies

    monarchbutterflies New commenter

    I'm *hopefully* transitioning to an IT career this year, and I'd like to glean advice from the veterans. What advice would you like to offer? Without mentioning a specific school, would anyone like to share coworker/parent/student/supervisor stories that will help us newbies tread lightly on this path?
  2. migratingbird

    migratingbird Occasional commenter

    Glad to hear you're taking the leap! An interesting, fun journey lies ahead of you. Every school and country is different, they all have their pros and cons. So I'm going to keep my advice very general. Firstly, when you enter an international school, you will be working with people from all over the world. Don't assume everyone has been trained and has taught in the way you have. It sounds so obvious, but so many times I have encountered teachers fresh out of their home country that use educational jargon specific to that country, and have no idea how something could be taught in a different way. I've done it myself in the past on many occasions! Just keep an open mind, and if you're not sure how something is being taught, then ask, and go observe lessons. As an example, the school I'm currently working in uses the Daily 5 for literacy, which I had never encountered before. Because I never really asked about it (or thought to ask, as I thought what I was doing was "best practise"), I never really got it up and running successfully for about 18 months!

    Secondly, remember parents are customers, and you will be expected to treat them as such. This can mean different things in different schools, but a general rule of thumb is that if you have something to say which may be difficult to hear for a parent, speak to someone who has taught the child before to get an idea for how the parents will react. Nine times out of ten, it'll be fine, but there'll always be one who kicks up a stink over the simplest thing, and other members of staff will be able to give you advise on how to deal with it.

    Best of luck!!!
    monarchbutterflies likes this.
  3. mikemcdonald25

    mikemcdonald25 Occasional commenter

    To paraphrase the Christmas song:

    Although it's been said
    Many times, Many ways!

    Be flexible, be adaptable, expect the unexpected. It ain't just like the UK or ..................... (fill in your own country of origin here) with sunshine or ...................... (include your own expectation here) different food.
    monarchbutterflies likes this.
  4. ejclibrarian

    ejclibrarian Established commenter Community helper

    I second the thing migratingbird says about parents. Tread carefully. Good advice about asking other teachers about certain students/parents if there is an issue. Forewarned and all that.
    monarchbutterflies likes this.
  5. mollymillions

    mollymillions New commenter

    Remember that all opinions are opinions. My first overseas post was in a country I didn't enjoy living in and I left at the end of my contract. Other teachers in the school had been there for many years and had no intention of leaving any time soon; they really enjoyed many of the things that I found unappealing. I love the country I now live in but colleagues that have left in the time I've been here have given not really liking the place as one of their reasons.
    Do your research, ask around for people's experiences, but try and keep an open mind about where to go and remember that one man's meat really is another man's poison.
    monarchbutterflies likes this.
  6. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    i can only echo Mikemcdonald25's advice "Be flexible, be adaptable, expect the unexpected." things will go wrong, sometimes you will question your decisions to move abroad, you will miss home, crazy things will happen. some of those crazy things though will be crazy in a good way. the international life is not for everyone, if you are not flexible, adaptable, and laid back then this type of life can be tough.
    however, i love my life. the last ten years have been a million times better than the previous 32 in the UK.
    monarchbutterflies likes this.
  7. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    Nails on the head.
    Have fun!
    monarchbutterflies likes this.

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