The International Educator
Teaching in international schools is an adventure. From landing that first job and getting off the plane in your new home to discovering new ways of life and new educational opportunities, there is excitement around every corner.
Meet our bloggers who each shed light on different aspects of the international school environment:
FORREST BROMAN has been in international education for 30 years. He has interviewed thousands of candidates, written a guide for international recruiters, and is the founder and President of The International Educator (TIE). He shares thoughts and tips on getting and securing a job in an international school.
BAMBI BETTS is the Director of the Principals’ Training Center for International School Leadership and co-trainer for the PTC’s Essential Skills courses. Bambi is also the CEO of the Academy for International School Heads (AISH). Having worked at international schools across the globe and a consultant to many more, she shares thoughts and insights on a wide range of topics in education.
STEPHEN DEXTER, a native of New England, has been a teacher and administrator since 1994. He finally discovered that the Swiss stay thin on a diet of chocolate, cheese and wine by walking a lot and not eating or drinking to excess. He is currently taking a gap year in the Swiss Alps to rediscover his passion for education and to understand what chief innovation officers really do.
DANIEL KERR is now Lower School Director at the American School of Paris. He previously served as Intermediate Division Principal at Academia Cotopaxi American International School in Quito, Ecuador, and prior to that was the Middle School Principal at SCIS in Shanghai, China. Dan has also worked at JIS in Jakarta, Indonesia and he began his International career in Abu Dhabi. Dan is thrilled to be joining the ASP family and will be accompanied by his wife, Jocelyn, who will be working as a counselor, and his two children, Max and Gabby.
KASSI COWLES is an IB English and TOK teacher currently based in Shanghai. She has worked in international education for the last 8 years in Canada, Togo and China. Her writing explores issues of educational reform and how to create authentic and creative learning communities.
MATTHEW GOOD & NIAMH CONWAY are international school teachers who met while working at the British School of Lome, in Togo, West Africa. They later moved to Uzbekistan, where they spent four years at Tashkent International School, each summer exploring another slice of the world by bike. Their Pedalgogy website allows users to follow the touring teachers on their two-year bike trip around the world.
BARRY DEQUANNE is currently working as the Head of School at the American School of Brasilia. His blog explores topics in K-12 education and school leadership within the framework of five focus areas: Academics, Activities, Arts, Leadership, and Service. The blog also explores professional articles and highlights recently read books.
EMILY MEADOWS is an alumni of international schools and has worked as a professional educator and counselor across the world, serving children and families in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. She holds master’s degrees in the fields of Counseling and Sexual Health, and is a PhD candidate researching inclusive policy and practice for LGBTQ+ students. Emily is a consultant on gender and sexual diversity and inclusion in international schools: www.emilymeadows.org
DAVID PENBERG is an urban and international educational leader/consultant with a deep commitment to progressive education, understanding global mindedness, and new school creation. He abides by the dictum of E.E. Cummings who said: “ I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing, than teach ten thousand stars not to dance.” He is presently the Head of School of Innovate Manhattan Charter School in New York City.
SHANNON FEHSE Shannon Fehse has spent her entire teaching career overseas, having lived and worked in China, Mexico, Colombia, Taiwan, and presently, the UAE. As a textbook definition extrovert, she talks to anyone, and enjoys listening to stories and different perspectives on life. Shannon has a somewhat faulty filter and often says what other people are thinking, but this typically works out favorably. She offers opinions and insight into the benefits and challenges of job hunting, dating overseas, and general issues that affect international educators.
MIKE SIMPSON is the Principal of the American International School of Lesotho. Originally a lawyer from New Zealand, Mike has also worked in schools in Qatar and Venezuela. Mike has a particular interest in the development of collaborative and innovative learning communities. He hopes that his blog might be of interest to other teachers and school leaders as they nurture these communities in their own schools.
GREGORY HEDGER Dr. Gregory Hedger has recently been appointed to be the head of the International School Yangon, in Myanmar, beginning in fall 2016. A native of Minnesota, Greg has served in education for over 25 years, including 13 years in the role of School Director at Cayman International School, Qatar Academy, and most recently as Superintendent at Escuela Campo Alegre in Venezuela. Greg promotes international education through his service on the boards of AAIE, AASSA, and his work with the International Task Force for Child Protection, his contributions to various periodicals, and his work to promote the next generation of leaders through workshops and teaching.
LINDSAY LYON is a seasoned English and Theory of Knowledge teacher currently working at JIS. She and her husband have taught abroad as a teaching team for fifteen years in Venezuela, Thailand, China, Saudi Arabia, and now Indonesia. They write about expat life with a focus on money and savings in their blog The Haggard Lyon. Here you will find some of the same, and other musings from Lindsay on life overseas with kids, teaching, technology, and staying balanced in a busy world.
NICHOLAS ALCHIN is High School Principal at the United World College of SE Asia, East Campus. A sino-celtic Brit who has lived and taught in the UK, Switzerland, Kenya, and Singapore, he has also held a number of roles with the IB and writes and speaks widely on educational matters. He enjoys traveling with wife Ellie, and kids Tom (10), Millie (13) and Ruth (16).
TONY DEPRATO Tony DePrato has a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology from Pepperdine University and has been working as a Director of Educational Technology since 2009. He has worked in the United Arab Emirates and China where he has consulted with schools in both regions on various technology topics. In 2013, Tony DePrato released The BYOD Playbook a free guide for schools looking to discuss or plan a Bring Your Own Device program. Tony is originally from the US, and worked in multimedia, website development, and freelance video production. Tony is married to Kendra Perkins, who is a librarian.
ETTIE ZILBER is a consultant to International School Communities and Families in Transition and a veteran international school educator and school leader. She has served in independent international schools in Israel, Singapore, Spain, Guatemala, China, and most recently in the USA. Her expertise extends to such topics as international school models, second/foreign language acquisition, communicating between diverse groups, the impact of international mobility and relocation on children, parents and staff, the special family experience of the educators’ children, the orientation of newcomers, multi-cultural communities, catalysts for teaching internationally, and marketing of international schools. She is the author of Third Culture Kids: The Children of International School Educators. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
TRAE HOLLAND is the Director of Academia Cotopaxi’s The ONE Institute, has been a leader in both the non-profit and business sectors, and has 19 years experience teaching both in the US and in international schools, with a specialization in learning differentiation. You can reach his website at www.traeholland.com.
JOHN MIKTON currently is the Head of Education and Media Technology/ Assistant Principal at the International School of Luxembourg . Previously he was the Director of eLearning at the Inter Community School Zurich, Switzerland and the Director of Information Technology at the International School of Prague, Czech Republic. John is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Trainer, Principal Training Center facilitator, Appsevents summit speaker and Learning 2.0 Community Coach. John blogs @ https://beyonddigital.org
FREDERIC BORDAGUIBEL-LABAYLE is the High School Associate Principal and IB Diploma Coordinator at Academia Cotopaxi American International School in Quito, Ecuador. Fred was born and raised in the South West of France; he finished his studies and started teaching in the UK, then went on to Istanbul and he is currently in Quito. Fred likes to pause, reflect and share his experience as an international educator and administrator.
SUE EASTON is the Director of the Teacher Training Center. She has worked with international schools for the past eleven years, on four continents, in roles focused on enhancing teaching and learning practices. This experience has made her passionate about the topic of change and how to best make change to support students and student learning. Her blog will explore this topic through the lens of PTC, TTC and CTC trainers’ words of wisdom.
ERIC & JAMIE are long time international school teachers and have had countless adventures around the globe working at different schools. Hear stories on travel, lifestyle, moving, and life in general as an international school teacher. They are a great resource for finding out what it is like to go from culture to culture, learning, and of course… teaching!
ALLI POIROT is currently teaching IB History, Modern World History, and Psychology at Asociación Escuelas Lincoln in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She taught previously at King’s Academy in Madaba, Jordan, and at public and charter schools in and around Boston, Massachusetts. She has a deep interest in progressive pedagogy and believes in fostering student autonomy and empowerment.
The International Educator (TIE) is a non-profit organization committed to matching the best educators with the best international schools around the world.
A New Year’s Carry Over
So I cannot believe that it’s already the year 2019. Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were all stressing about the roll over to the new millennium, and wondering what the year 2000 would bring to the world? In some ways, those two decades since seem to have blurred all together, like time tends to do as we get older and older. One truth that I’ve learned for sure in my life is that the days go by way, way too fast, and if you don’t stop and hit the pause button every once in a while it will speed you by without warning, and more crucially, without notice. The start of a new year is an easy and obvious chance to do just that…to stop and reflect, to pause and consider, and to take stock in your life. It’s a natural opportunity for people to think about where they are both personally and professionally, and a chance to make goals and promises, or resolutions, to do better, to be better, and feel better about where they currently are.
The problem that often comes with these “resolutions” however, is that they are usually framed in the negative, and unrealistically, often setting people up for failure. They tend to lean toward what’s wrong in your life, and toward areas that need improvement. Recently, resolutions haven’t felt right for me, because I found myself always starting the new year in a negative mindset, focusing on things that I am not currently doing, which in my mind, I should be doing. This ultimately made me feel bad about myself. I’m sure many of you have gone through a similar experience, and maybe you’re feeling that way right now. Well, this year I’m taking a different approach to the new year…entering into 2019 with a different and positive mindset, which so far feels really good.
I remember staring out the window in northern Norway this past New Year’s Eve, just a couple of weeks ago, and going down my usual road of reflection as I marveled at the fireworks that were lighting up the midnight sky. I was thinking about all the changes that I needed to make in my life, and how I need to eat better and exercise more…how I need to drink less and spend more time with my family, and how I need to take more courses and maybe a doctorate degree in something so I can continue to learn. It was at that point that I caught myself starting to get a bit depressed and frankly, a little sad. I remember noticing this negativity and quickly shaking my head, and as I looked around I saw my two amazing kids, my beautiful wife, and this incredible light show, and it was then that I challenged myself to think about all that’s right with my life, and not about all that I perceive to be wrong with it.
Well, talk about beginning the new year on the right foot! I spent the next day or two finding moments throughout the day to focus on all that was right about the previous year, and all that is going well in my life both personally and professionally, and I finally thought, okay, I’ll just keep doing that for 2019…I’ll take all the good things that are working, and that are making me happy, and I’ll carry them over into the new year…a new year carry over can be my so called resolution. Of course over the next few weeks and even months I’ll try to eat better and exercise more, like I do after every extended holiday, and I will find new ways to learn because I’m passionate about learning, but I guess my point is this…Instead of beating yourself up about the person that you currently aren’t, and all the work that you need to do to feel better about yourself, change your mindset…even if it’s just a little.
Take stock in all that’s right about your life, and about who you are as a person, and start 2019 by celebrating that! Begin the year feeling good about yourself instead of bad, and you know what, I bet that this positive energy and outlook will be a better foundation and starting point to achieve any goals that you might have for the upcoming year. I’m willing to bet that if you begin from a place of celebration and gratitude that any changes that you want to make will be more sustainable in the long run. Anyway, happy new year everyone and I truly hope that 2019 is your best year to date! If we look closely enough, I bet all of us have areas in our lives that we are proud of and happy with…carry them over and make those positive aspects your focal point in 2019. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other.
Quote of the Week…
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
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