Foreign Teaching, Is This Real or Not?

What is Foreign Teaching?

All of us make a career change sometime. Career changes arrive without us wanting it, but it happens during strange times. Some of us originate from traditional or more conventional-looking working environments and others more colourful. We want to show our parents our ability to achieve success in life. So, in my life, I chose the not so popular, not money-making career path. More something wealthy people do to keep themselves busy. In my case I studied archaeology, meaning I literally dig around in the past. Not a popular decision to impress your parents, but the rebel in me made me decide differently.

Some of us thought to reach success in life, you need a big car, a massive house, get married and have lots of kids. If our tick boxes look a bit empty, well it screams failure to most parents. Well, my tick box looks definitely empty.

Before I distract everybody with my life story, I want to share something more realistic. With economic declines and companies reducing staff numbers, we live a different not-so-stable life. New prospects to survive decreases daily but it keeps life interesting I suppose.

I want to share my story about finding a teaching position in a foreign country and the challenges associated with it.

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1. Finding a Foreign Teaching Position

Finding a position as a foreign teacher remains simple enough. Thousands of agencies want to help and offer us the perfect job. Offers arrive to make quick money in a short time and hoping to save for the next trip. Many reasons exist why people look for foreign teaching positions. Some of us look to participate in a “gap year” or take a break after school or university. Others want to run away from their strict childhood home or just wanting to travel the world. Depending on your host country, most require some kind of Foreign Teaching experience, certificate or at least a Bachelors degree.

2. Contract Acceptance, Visa Application

If we applied via an agency, they normally match our skills with a specific international school. Next, we attend a quick Skype meeting, and within a few days, they ask us to sign a contract. The following few months change into a bit of administrative nightmare applying for Visa’s etc. To ensure we comply with strict permit conditions, one becomes flooded with paperwork and this relies on the host country’s requirements. From medical to criminal checks, one feels like a government official after a few weeks. In the end, the process remains critical to ensure we start our teaching career and not visit a foreign jail cell.

3. Starting Your Teaching Career

Many of us know how it feels to arrive in a new country. Initially, when we reach the airport, we feel overwhelmed, big-eyed and scared. In time, we settle in and start to live the local life. When it comes to teaching, it carries a different angle because we work with children. We impact the lives of little ones from diverse cultures and places. They also scared when they meet their new “foreign” teacher. So, it takes a lot of hard work to win their trust and allow them to actually start learning.

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4. Foreign Teaching During and After Covid-19

We know the world changed significantly when Covid-19 hit us. Initially, it felt like a dream, but it became a reality for a lot of foreign teachers and children. Suddenly, either you stuck in a country not being able to teach, or if we lucky government schools roll out online teaching programmes.

Foreign teaching changed from an in-class foreign teacher to an online teacher. The complexities remain huge. Besides logistical issues, where not all children know how to use Zoom, Skype and the like, the person to person contact disappears.

5. What is Next For Foreign Teachers

Various foreign teachers decided to pack their bags and return to their countries of origin. Others stayed with the hope that things may change for the better. It remains a complex environment to work and live in but fulfilling. The difficulties link with teachers, children, and we must not forget the parents.

Online teaching changed into reality but involves a lot of complexities. These complexities I will discuss another time.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the world of foreign teaching remains a magical world. It allows us to make an impact in children’s lives across the world. For any person who aims to follow a foreign teaching programme, it remains a great career opportunity. The post-Covid-19 environment impacted on the lives of children, teachers and parents but let us remain focused on the main goal. The main goal focuses on developing our children to experience a better future.

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Foreign Teaching, Is This Real or Not?

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Elize Becker

I am an Archaeologist and Anthropologist with 14 years of experience working with international and locally-based institutions, organisations, companies and public entities. I gained experiences in resettlement and community displacement projects, small business development, cultural-heritage impact assessments and archaeological excavations. Also, I worked as a Project Manager responsible to develop project plans and drive tasks accordingly. Besides my consultancy career, I participated in academic research with a focus on community displacement using an Anthropological approach. Most of my on-site work experiences I gained while working in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Namibia. I also joined global sustainable management teams contributing to projects in Cameroon, Mozambique and Bahrain. I enjoy travelling and exploring the world, working with different communities and cultures. I use my writing career to tell and share my stories I experienced when exploring different parts of the world.

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