Home > Blogs of International Teachers > Blogs of international school teachers: “Dan and Jillians International Teaching Adventures.”

Blogs of international school teachers: “Dan and Jillians International Teaching Adventures.”

Are you inspired to start up a blog about your adventures living abroad?

Our 22nd blog that we would like to highlight is called “Dan and Jillian’s International Teaching Adventures”  Check out the blog entries of this international school teaching couple who are currently working at Al Batinah International School (9 Comments).

A few entries that we would like to highlight:

Semper Try

“Suddenly it sounds all too apropos—with such a small teaching staff, everyone needs to fill in to make the school day run smoothly. Certainly our principal sold the job this way and these last few days before school begins have been an exercise in filling in every last gap in the timetable with people ready and willing to take on new things. The second grade teacher (who’s from Pawtucket, Rhode Island!) will also teach grade 6-7 math and the P.E. teacher will dabble a bit in middle school science. Flexibility becomes our greatest virtue…”

Working at a small international school with a small group of teachers would definitely be an interesting experience.  It is much appreciated when administration tries their best at the interview to give you a head’s up about what life as a teacher is really like at their school.  At a small international school you indeed really would have to help “fill in the gaps” to help get teachers to teach all the classes on offer at the school!  Using the School Profile Search feature on the homepage of International School Community’s website, we found that there are currently 513 international schools (out of 1273) that have a student population of 300 or less…that’s is almost half of our schools listed!

Location, Location, Location

“Since we’d been at the school everyday since we arrived, Jillian and I decided that yesterday would be a break—though this didn’t stop her from spending several hours planning her reading curriculum, but at least she was doing it on the couch. I, on the other hand, did nothing of the kind. After putting up nominal resistance, I succumbed to the temptation to begin reading The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, part three of Stieg Larsson’s awesomely escapist crime trilogy. Just what I need to be doing right now.

In the afternoon we headed out for a drive and our first real look at Sohar. We’d driven around a few times previous, but it was always within a short distance of our house. Yesterday we headed down towards the fish market and the old Sohar Fort and turned south and just started driving. Sohar is incredibly spread out, so even after driving along the coast for a good 45 minutes, we had only just reached the Sohar Gate, the entrance to town…”

It is so important to get yourself out and about the first few weeks of school, especially when working at an international school.  Going out and appreciating your host city and taking in all that it has to offer is a great idea!

New Frontiers

“Less than an hour later during lunch, our principal walked into the teachers’ lounge and informed Jillian and I, plus another teaching couple, that to obtain our much-needed resident card, we’d need to leave the country and re-enter on a new working visa. Ummm, huh? Oh, and it would be best if that happened today. Thanks.

So after the closing bell we were headed for Dubai, or more exactly, the border station between Oman and the United Arab Emirates. Waiting in line in Oman only to be told we needed to exit the country and come back in. Yeah, we got that. Then standing in the hot sun, waiting for our UAE visitor’s visas. Of the thirty days we were allotted, we used approximately three minutes. U-turn, then back across into Oman and literally sprinting into the building ahead of a group coming off a tour bus to beat them to the window. And finally, an official stamp certifying our working status.
I’ll never forget my first trip to the United Arab Emirates. No matter how hard I try…”

It is unfortunate, but this situation is not so uncommon for many international school teachers.  It is really hard getting the whole residency and visa paperwork to work out as you would have hoped it would work out.  We all know though that it doesn’t always work out perfectly.  I guess as international school teachers we needed to be flexible and aware that we might have to leave the country at some point and re-enter to get your new working visa validated.

If you are also interested in starting your career in the international school community, feel free to check out the 1273+ international schools that are listed on International School Community here. Also, don’t forget to check out our latest submitted comments and information about these schools.

If you are an international school teacher and would like your blog highlighted on International School Community contact us here.

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