TES job alerts.…it can be your best friend, it can be your enemy. Signing up to the daily job alerts was one of the best and worst decisions I had made. Why? Well it was the best decision as I found my current role, and the worst decision because of the endless mornings of disappointment, opening the email to find there were no jobs around!

I had considered International teaching ever since I had got back from my gap year. I love to travel, almost as much as I love my job so I thought why not pair the two together. Sounds like a simple decision to make? It wasn’t. I was happy in my role in the UK and I was making steps up the ladder towards the SLT position that I dreamed of. I was in a middle management position and I had opportunities to progress further. But I couldn’t fight this niggling feeling in the back of my mind that it wasn’t enough. At that point in my life, I didn’t know what it was that was missing. I just knew that it was time for me to get looking for something new. I’d been at my current school for 5 years, I was comfortable, I knew what I was doing….it wasn’t a challenge anymore. And that was no reflection on my previous school, it was a great place to work and I have many happy memories of my time there, but I knew deep down it was time to move on. But where? And how did I know the right schools to apply for? I’d seen a number of International jobs advertised: Bali, Malaysia, Peru…. all sounds very exotic but which one should I apply for. It was all about getting the right school for me, not where it was. I could live anywhere…. I think!

I was happy in my role in the UK… But I couldn’t fight this niggling feeling that it wasn’t enough.

Ding……the morning TES job alerts email came through. I did as I usually do and scrolled through it while sipping my first morning coffee, however this morning something caught my eye. A job in a large and successful British International School, a sister school of one of the most successful independent schools in the UK. I had always been (and still am to an extent) a staunch state school teacher but there was something about this advert. I spent the day doing some research on the school, the city it was located in (which I had visited before and loved!) and of course, the country. As I expected, the school was exceptional, I knew this from the name itself. Results through the roof, happy staff and students, opportunities for progression, superb CPD opportunities…the list was endless, and all this situated in one of my favourite cities in the world. Almost sounds too good to be true. I toyed with the idea of applying, but knew I needed to speak to family and friends first, and of course have a conversation with my current headteacher about my options and to get some advice.

After the disappointed look on my heads face, the concerned tone of my family and friend’s voices, I started to question my decision. I knew of other teachers that had done the same and taken the leap, and from their updates and pictures it sounded like they were having the time of their lives. After assessing, reassessing and having some more difficult conversations, my family and friends started to come around to the idea (it may have been the holiday opportunities for them that sold it!), and my head explained he would support me whatever my decision. I tentatively put in my application and the waiting game began. To cut a long story short, I got the job! I was delighted, ecstatic……scared brainless! Was this really happening? Was I going to leave my lovely job, friends, family to move to a foreign country on my own?!

I am still doing what I love, but in a new and exciting environment.

But I did, and here I am now. Going into my 3rd year of international teaching and loving every minute. It’s different, its challenging in different ways from what I was used to in the UK, but I am glad that I did my research and made sure that I applied for a well-established and successful international school. I am still doing what I love, teaching GCSE and A level to international students whilst focusing on progressing in my career, but in a new and exciting environment. Living in a foreign country really makes you appreciate and respect other cultures and provides you with endless travelling opportunities. I’m not going to pretend and say that it was an easy decision because it really wasn’t. There are times when I still get home sick, or I miss a friend’s wedding as I am too far away to pop back for the weekend…. that’s the hard part. But I love my job and I love this crazy city that I moved to. This was a good decision, both with regards to my career and my personal life.

Would I recommend it? Absolutely.

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