The allure of international teaching has captured the hearts of educators worldwide. However, it's essential to separate fact from fiction and dispel the myths that often surround this exciting profession. In this post we debunk some of the top myths associated with working as an international teacher, shedding light on the realities and opportunities that await those who embark on this extraordinary journey.
Myth 1: International Teaching is Just an Extended Vacation
When people envision international teaching, images of exotic locations and endless holidays may come to mind. However, international teachers are dedicated professionals committed to providing quality education. While they may have the chance to travel and immerse themselves in new cultures, their primary focus remains on their students and delivering exceptional instruction. International teaching is a rewarding career that requires hard work and a genuine passion for education.
Myth 2: International Teachers Only Teach English
One prevalent misconception is that international teachers solely teach English as a foreign language. While opportunities for teaching English do exist, international schools offer a wide range of subjects and curricula. Teachers with diverse backgrounds and specialisations can find positions in mathematics, science, social studies, physical education, arts, and more. International schools provide an array of educational options, catering to the needs and interests of their students.
Myth 3: You Need to Be Fluent in the Local Language
Contrary to popular belief, fluency in the local language is not always a requirement for teaching in international schools. Many international schools adopt English as the primary language of instruction, enabling teachers to deliver their lessons effectively. While learning some basic phrases in the local language can be advantageous, it is not a prerequisite for employment. International schools value educators who can create inclusive and engaging classrooms that promote cross-cultural understanding.
Myth 4: International Teachers Only Work with Expatriate Students
Another myth suggests that international teachers exclusively work with expatriate students. In reality, international schools attract a diverse student body comprising local students, expatriate children, and students from various cultural backgrounds. This multicultural environment fosters an enriching educational experience where students learn from one another's perspectives. International teachers have the opportunity to work with students from different nationalities, creating inclusive classrooms that celebrate diversity. Some international schools cater to a majority of local students.
Myth 5: International Teaching Is Just for Young Teachers
There is a misconception that international teaching is primarily suited for young, adventurous educators seeking an exciting experience. While many young teachers do pursue international teaching early in their careers, age does not have to be a limiting factor, depending on visa restrictions of course. International schools value experienced educators who bring a wealth of knowledge, diverse perspectives, and leadership skills to their classrooms. Many teachers transition to international teaching after gaining years of valuable experience in their home countries.
International teaching is a fulfilling and dynamic career choice that offers unique opportunities for personal and professional growth. By dispelling the myths surrounding this profession, we uncover the realities and richness that lie within. International teachers are dedicated professionals committed to delivering quality education, working with diverse student populations, and embracing the wonders of cross-cultural exchange. Aspiring international educators should embrace this incredible journey with open minds, knowing that the myths they've heard are far from the truth.