I have lived and worked abroad for the past fifteen years (in London, the Cayman Islands and Dubai), I have taught children from broad socioeconomic backgrounds, varying religions and cultures in both state and private schools. My experiences have armed me with the philosophical and social foundations to see my classroom from a wider lens, allowing me to address issues with a little more sensitivity, understanding and knowledge to tailor lessons to the children under my pupilage and care.
Poignant moments build character in students and teachers alike. My experience while teaching in the Cayman Islands was just such a moment: In September of 2004 the Cayman Islands were devastated by Hurricane Ivan that brought an end to any semblance of normality for the better part of that academic year. Cayman Prep and High School was the first school to re-open its doors seven weeks after the Hurricane. Along with other teachers and staff, I worked under extreme conditions to help prepare the School for the children’s return. We had a responsibility to the families of our community to focus on providing a safe, peaceful and comfortable environment for the children during the school day. The greatest pleasure that I, as a teacher, experienced during this time was the return of the students to the Island and my classroom. Each child had a story to tell about the aftermath and their experiences at other schools abroad. Despite the traumatic experience, it allowed me to truly appreciate the community in which I lived and worked.
My experiences abroad have made me a more resilient and flexible teacher as I have had to make both personal and professional adjustments in each country in which I have lived and taught. I am a different person today than I was at the onset of my career due to my international experiences. My philosophy of education is ever changing with each new experience.