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Advice on Working Abroad in International Schools from a NAIS Manila Teacher

NAIS Manila's Secondary School Head of Science, Mr. Oliver McGuinness,  talks to future teachers about teaching, working abroad and what he has learned from his students.

Last week I was invited to hold a webinar for the University of Manchester’s current group of student teachers on what it is like to work abroad at an international school. As many of you already know, my career before teaching was Marine Biology so I have spent a large amount of my professional career away from my home country.

  • olly webinar 1
  • olly webinar 2
  • olly webinar

One of the questions that I was asked was why did I change careers from Marine Biology to teaching? The obvious answer was due to personal reasons, namely that I was getting married and needed a job that was more stable than the 6-month research projects I used to accept. When I thought harder about this, I realised that changing careers into teaching was one of the best decisions that I could have ever made. 

olly diving

Image captured from CNN Article:
The best job on the planet? Life on a Philippine coral reef
By Andrew Stevens, CNN
Updated 0724 GMT (1524 HKT) November 30, 2015

I realised that changing careers into teaching was one of the best decisions that I could have ever made. 

A sad truth is that most reports written about the marine ecosystems were rarely positive about their future. This is not the case for teaching. Each and every day the students that I teach amaze me with their curiosity, creativity, understanding of the natural world, integrity, resilience, and a wealth of other skills. When I teach the students of NAIS Manila, they also teach me optimism for the future of our planet in a way that a dataset collected from a marine protected area could never do. 

Nowhere is this more evident than in our collaboration with MIT’s S.T.E.A.M. Programme. This unique program is so different from conventional teaching.  The forefront of the programme, is that we actively nurture essential skills like creativity, curiosity, resilience, resourcefulness, collaboration and confidence. When the students know that they are not being graded with the use of a levels rubric, it allows them to really be creative in their work and concentrate on whatever current events that they consider to be the most critical for them.

steam mit trip collage

The final piece of advice that I gave the University of Manchester student teachers during my 1-hour talk was to embrace and enjoy the experience of teaching. Sometimes it is easy to get stuck into worrying about the paperwork, grades, reports, and marking. We forget how lucky we are as teachers to be a part of the student’s lives, to watch them develop their characters, to facilitate their learning, and to also learn from them.

 

A big thanks to all students from NAIS Manila for everything that you have taught me over the last 3 years.

- Mr. McGuinness

 

We forget how lucky we are as teachers to be a part of the student’s lives, to watch them develop their characters, to facilitate their learning, and to also learn from them. Oliver McGuinness - Head of Science, Secondary School

If you want to know more about NAIS Manila, you can speak online with our Admissions Team through our Virtual Discovery Meeting.

Click link below to know more. 

NAIS Manila Virtual Discovery Meeting

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