I have always had this love affair with traveling. As a child I went on road trips with my family. The first time I got on an airplane was 2000. I went home with a friend from college. We traveled to MSP from CLT. I was completely intrigued by air travel. The flight attendants, takeoff and landing and don’t forget those cookies on Delta! I thought to myself at the time….I’m getting on as many airplanes as possible.
Back in 2008 I was researching ways to travel and work in education. I stumbled upon Teach Away. Basically, Teach Away works with organizations and schools around the world to fill a range of positions. I had struck gold! This was the key to fulfilling my dream. I perused the listings. There were job opportunities in the Middle East, Beijing, Micronesia, Vietnam, Africa and many other places. I thought to myself where would even want to go?
I applied for many jobs. My approach was like throwing spaghetti on the cabinet to see if it was fully cooked (do people still do that or is it just a southern thing?). I didn’t care where I went, I was just seeking an adventure. I had several phone screenings for positions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. What people don’t really talk about but I realize now is you have to be mentally ready to pursue a position. Unfortunately, I just wasn’t ready.
So fast forward to November 2017. At this point I have three years of teaching Physical Education, Health and Leadership, 11 years as an Assistant Principal and Athletic Director and multiple coaching positions. I’m finding myself extremely bored in my position. I have mastered my job responsibilities. I know how many observations I need to do in a day, how to appease parents while supporting teachers and how to calmly deal with any situation you can imagine that happens in the school setting. I am completely unfulfilled.
So, I’ve been traveling locally in the states and internationally at this point. Traveling was intoxicating. I would return from a trip already planning my next excursion. I found myself back on the Teach Away website. This time around was different. I knew that I wanted to focus my job search in the Middle East and Africa. I narrowed my search to Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Dubai. But the twist to all of this is I really wanted to return to the classroom and teach Physical Education. Crazy right? You’re a school leader. Aren’t you going backwards? So many questions about that part of my decision.
When my dad came out for Christmas I shared with him that I had applied for several teaching jobs out of the country. I don’t think he was surprised. He knows I have a passion for traveling and education. He is also extremely supportive of all of my life decisions whether they be right, wrong or different from his thought process.
Long story short… I spend the month of January 2018 completing phone screenings with Teach Away. They are attempting to align my background and skill set with schools in my preferred areas. In February I take several days off from work to interview with administrators from schools around the world. I traveled from Arizona to Seattle to San Francisco to New York and back home in a week’s time. I received offers, but hands down Qatar Foundation showed me that they valued my experience and what I could bring to the organization.
So here I am. Traveling and educating.