10
MAR
2015

Teaching English Abroad: International Schools

Prior to my husband and I moving to Prague to teach English abroad, I was teaching in Accra, Ghana. I lived and worked there for 3 years and it was fantastic. I learned a lot through my experience and I also realized that teaching English abroad is something that I love. You can find my personal blog from this time period here: http://himandmeg.blogspot.cz/ During those three years, I was teaching at an international school. There were children from 23 different nations and for many of them, English was their second language and Ghana was perhaps more than the second country they’d lived in. You learn a lot teaching at a school like this. It’s not just teaching English that you need to focus on, but the feelings and emotions that come with these children. These students may be incredible readers, speakers, and writers in their native tongue, but in English, they may be far below grade level. This could cause them to feel less confident than normal; it was important for me to remember that not only are these children trying to get used to another culture at this young age, but they would also have a tough time expressing their feelings of struggle or even success to me. Remembering this fact is so important when teaching English abroad in any country. Knowing this, helps to remind me how important the relationship with the student is. So in teaching at any level, in any position, at any school, or within any private lesson, the relationship with the student is so important. This can help with comfort for both you and the student, for respect both ways, and for a better all around learning experience for both parties. Taking this learning and experience, I was offered a job at an international school here in Prague. Having loved so much my experience in Ghana, I said, “Yes,” as quickly as I could. This international school has such an interesting set up. I teach both years 3 and 4 (an equivalent to 2nd and 3rd grade in the States). This is alongside a Czech teacher. The days are staggered differently, but while I teach year 3 in English, my Czech co-teacher teaches year 4 in Czech, and then we switch. We collaborate to establish a common curriculum, so topics are supported and taught in both languages. Activities and lessons are taught as they would be in a normal classroom, just with an English Language Learner filter on it. A normal week consists of English grammar, spelling, creative writing, reading, listening, conversing, math, a few science and social studies lessons, and a few lessons in art and music as well. It’s great fun, and like I said building those relationships is also such an important piece to all of this. Teaching at an international school is a great option for teaching English abroad. You have consistent hours, consistent pay, a consistent workplace, and a consistent set of faces to work with and enjoy. I am incredibly happy with this course and believe many others could find the same contentedness that I do.

 

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