Sunday, November 16, 2014

Do we stay or do we go?

This question always arises in the fall, before teacher contracts have to be signed. International school teachers have to decide if they walk the plank, don't sign their contracts for next year and take a leap of faith they'll find something else. Something better.
They piddle around on job search sites seeing if anything catches their eye before that December due date in which their contracts have to be signed. Not really getting serious about the job search but looking just in case.
There are those that just know they're staying. They love it where they're at and they want to stay another year.

I feel like we've been in category two, the piddlers, for two years now. And I think it's the worst place to be. Who knows what we're doing? Who knows if we're satisfied where we're at? Has the bug to move hit us or are we just hitting the shorter days of winter and feel a little sunlight deprived?

When people ask us what we'll do next year, we usually say, We'll probably stay. Which we totally mean. Until we see job openings in Lima and Prague and think, maybe we should apply and just see. But then we don't have all our application stuff together because you need references and current photos and updated CV's and hours to spend filling out little boxes on whatever site that school uses to recruit teachers. And then half way into filling in all those little boxes we think, We'll probably end up staying. Is this worth a try?! And of course it is, but who wants to spend all their free time filling out little boxes and making sure our teaching licenses are the right PDF size?

As you can see we're definitely not in the ready-to-go category. Because you really have to decide that in September and spend all your free time job searching. And we're just not ready to commit to that. But then we wonder... What if? What if we fill out that application and end up on a grand new adventure?

I guess we'll know by December 10th when our current contracts need to be resigned. After that we don't have to deal with it until next fall when we ask ourselves again, Do we stay or do we go?


  1. I think that having this choice is one of the best parts of being an international teacher! Even when decisions like this are keeping me up at night, I try to remember how lucky I am to have this option to teach just about anywhere in the world.

    I wrote about my feelings on the issue here:

    It's nice knowing that there are others who feel the same way. Thanks for sharing!

    -Amanda at

  2. Thanks for sharing this post! It's nice to know other international school teachers feel the same way! We started the year knowing we were ready to leave Manila, but as the job search went on it's always tough. We just accepted jobs for next year at International School Kenya in Nairobi - it's settling in that we've chosen the next adventure will take us to Africa and our excitement is building. Good luck with your decision!

    1. Piercex4, Kenya is a great adventure and ISK is a great school. I lived in Nairobi and taught at Braeburn School there. Had many friends at ISK. You'll have a great experience! Good luck.