This is an exerpt from a blog called 'Landing Gear Down' written by Matt Preston. Matt and his wife are British teachers who embarked on their life abroad with their twins 2 years ago. You can read about their adventures on Matt's blog HERE
Whilst school has now finished we are now waiting for our tax days to be completed and then the flight back to the UK.
We will be flying back to a country in turmoil, Brexit looks like it is happening and there are many disinfranchised people in the UK now. This is obvious as reports of Irish passport applications have risen almost a drastically as the value of the pound has fallen.
Many teachers, therefore, are considering their positions and looking abroad with curiosity. should they risk it? What is life really like?
Well I thought I would try my best to write an honest unbiased article on the subject.
Before I do, and if you are considering moving abroad...do it...please...even if you end up not enjoying it I firmly believe that having a go is far better than not.
Still back to being unbiased.
First of all let me deal with the myths of independent teaching:
1) "Your career is over if you work abroad." This is a big one, I actually got told this when I explained to my old head that I wanted to go abroad.
It is a load of rubbish.
You can have an excellent career as an international teacher and, if you do go home, it is still more than possible to get yourself a teaching job back in Britain. To be fair this is mainly due to the possible reason that you left in the first place. Teaching in the UK has become a lot less enjoyable and the stress is insane. As a result of this people are leaving in droves. academies are in and they can employ unqualified teachers if they wish, so a teacher who has been abroad has no worries.
2) "Teaching is easier abroad." Nope, I am afraid not. There are huge differences but I can say that it isn't any more difficult.
3) "You earn a fortune teaching abroad." Again it is a nope, not necessarily but with a big slice of however. If you teach in Europe, unless you are very lucky, the package is not great. The Middle East and Far East are a different matter and excellent packages are available. So it really depends where you go.
4) "The education for your children is better." This, again, depends where you go and research is the key here. If you choose a school that you think will be easy to teach in or that seems disorganised then don't moan if the education isn't great for your own children. We have been very happy with our choices and the children have thrived.
I am sure that there are plenty of concerns but as long as you do your research and go with an open mind you should be ok.
So you arrive and get to your accommodation (if it has been provided for you in your contract) and you sit on furniture that isn't yours and you wonder what you have done. Don't worry. We all feel like this at some time or another.
You do have moments that you love and those that you hate just like you would back home. Culture shock is also an issue but, in all honesty, I had more culture shock going back to the UK than being here in Jordan. Whatever happens don't be afraid to talk to someone. A big problem faced by many is that they compare their new country to their home country. This doesn't help as things will always seem strange or wrong or just plain stupid. Just try and remember why you left in the first place.
Before you make the leap ask yourself why you are going and what you will you will miss from your home country - if you cannot live with out a bacon sandwich then the Middle East is probably not for you.
The best advice we can give is to talk to an agency, we were lucky as the agency we used, Edvectus (www.edvectus.com) were amazing and listened to what we wanted. They even told us countries that we should avoid.
If you have questions please leave them in the comments and I will answer them in another post.