Teaching all over the world. Why pursue an international career in education?
From newly qualified teacher to Head of a school rated Outstanding before the age of 33, Melissa McBride, Headteacher at Long Close School in the UK (from September 2017) explains how an international teaching career has broadened her horizons.
When I graduated with a Bachelor of Education in 2004, I never imagined that my teaching degree would be my ticket to international adventure. By teaching all over the world, I have lived in many different countries, met people from all backgrounds and, above all, my career has accelerated exponentially.
Before I gave up my “stable” teaching role at home in Canada, I’d heard all the warnings about how challenging it could be teaching international students, dealing with difficult expat families and experiencing “brain drain”. I was even told that it could halt my career advancement as I would be too far removed from the latest developments in educational policy, curriculum and best practice. Leaving a hard to come by permanent post was simply seen as career suicide.
Now, looking back twelve years later at a truly international career, what seemed like a big risk actually meant countless rewards, opportunities and fulfillment. In pursuing an international teaching career, I have not only expanded both the professional and personal sides of my life by living and teaching in diverse environments, I have gained valuable professional experience across a wide variety of curricula.
Most international schools offer excellent professional development for their staff. There is opportunity to broaden your teaching expertise through a richly varied student body, exposure to small class sizes, outstanding facilities, motivated students, supportive parents and a high level of faculty collegiality. The life of an international teacher means working in fascinating, multicultural environments with a variety of different parent communities and students from around the world.
The attractive lifestyle offered by a teaching career abroad also opens the door to unparalleled opportunities for travel and truly becoming a citizen of the world.
In today’s increasingly global society, an international career in teaching can not only broaden your exposure to a whole host of communities and cultures, it can also provide you with the opportunity to be part of a dynamic team of talented, passionate and likeminded teachers who make a difference to the lives of global children.