Teachers deserve summers off.
Have you ever heard that?
I have heard this and read articles about this topic over and over again. I have teachers in my family who constantly bring this up as a misconception to teaching. But I am going to throw out a little fun fact that might peek your interest.
As an internationally teacher…
You have summers……
Now teachers in the states comment on why and how they do not have summers off. As an international teacher, I have summers off. I have never been a stateside teacher. And quite frankly, I do not want to be. Why? Becuase working in the States and other western countries are overridden by paperwork and government.
Working at an international school is the exact opposite. Sometimes, this leads to schools not being helpful for troublesome students. Largely due to troublesome students have parents who are board members. But I have found working abroad, I am free to make a lot more decisions is how and when I teach the curriculum. I am in love how schools trust me. They trust me to get all content out to the students. This is why my students in Venezuela on average scored higher than American counterparts.
Reasons to Work Abroad
1. Summers off
NO international school expects you to work during the summer months. In fact, they highly suggest you do not. They encourage travel and you enjoy time with your family members back in the States. They are encouraged during weekly or bi-weekly breaks that you do not do too much work during this time. Many schools abroad understand the term teacher burnout. They do not want teacher burnout to be a reason you leave a school. Many schools internationally have a rotating door of teachers but most people leave because they do not like the freedom that is given to them. The biggest complaint I hear is the school doesn’t give me enough direction or help.
I think this an issue you always want what you do not have. I have embraced the lack of micromanaging. I love the fact that I am trusted to teach students. I am trusted to provide a great educational experience. I am trusted to make the best decisions for my students and myself. Let me tell you, this trust pays off. I think more international teachers should embrace this trust and perfect their craft to match them and their students.
2. You are close to over great places to travel to
Your wanderlust side will explode. You are close to so many cool places to visit in the country you live as well as around the country you work in. Internationally schools give about 6 to 8 weeks off during the school year to explore all these great places. And do not forget the 2 or 3 months in the summer!
I worked abroad for about 6 years. I have been to about 20 countries! This is due to the time off and being so close to exotic and interesting places. While traveling, work and work stress hit the back burner. I can not even image teaching in the states and not get a two-week break. Those two weeks refresh me and my students so when we come back we are ready to learn. I find the weeks or two after vacations always the best because they miss school. When was the last time you had a group of student miss school? September? January? Students internationally miss school in August, October, January, and March.
Student relationships are closer
My biggest class was 24 students. My smallest class was 14 students. You develop close relationships with students abroad. The rely on and respect teachers opinions more abroad. Parents have questions my age and by mid-year conferences, they all say the same thing. My child adores you and you are more strict than I thought. But students cling to their teachers. We spend more time than many of their parents. We are also an adult they can trust that is not the same culturally. They ask questions on how their culture is different and really learn a bigger world view on different topics.
International schools do not expect nearly as much paperwork as school stateside. They trust teachers. They encourage and often times pay for more training. International schools understand that teachers abroad are also people.
Would you work abroad? Have you worked abroad? Loved to hear your thoughts?