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Seven Types Of People Who Fail At Being International Educators


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Not everything is always roses when it comes to being an international educator. Many people have great experiences, but some of them crash and burn – quickly and spectacularly.

While we like to encourage people to teach abroad, there are people who simply don't have a chance at being successful. Anyone who has taught abroad has seen this happen to people,and can generally pick out who is going to flame out after just a few days into the semester.

Let's take a look at the seven types of people who fail miserably at teaching internationally:

1.    The person who is looking for love. They are not really interested in teaching. They read “Eat, Pray, Love” or “How Stella Got Her Grove Back,” and figure they will find all sorts of romantic adventures and maybe even a husband or wife. This never, ever works. It's bad for the person, it's bad for the kids and it leads to heartbreak.

2.    The person whose spouse isn't into it. If you are going to be moving with your spouse, they need to be just as excited about the whole situation as you are. If they are not it will hurt your relationship, you'll be distracted from teaching, and things simply won't go well. This happens often if the spouse doesn't also have work in the country, and has a lot of time on their hands to either be bored or have a million affairs with the locals while you are at work.

3.    The racist xenophobe. If you think your home country is the best in the world and want to tell the world about it – and not learn how to respect other cultures – you are doomed. You'll be hated and you won't do your job right. Plus, you'll be miserable. No one cares that your country does this or that better.

4.    The person who is prone to addiction. Drug and alcohol problems are super common in expat communities. You'll have many chances to abuse both, and if you are susceptible to addiction problems you'll have a really hard time resisting them.

5.    The religious zealot. Different cultures practice their religions differently. Even if you are of the same faith, there are doing to be some differences. Remember, you are not teaching abroad to be an evangelical. If you can't be religiously flexible, you'll have a problem.

6.    The stuck-in-their-ways person. If you are only comfortable teaching one way, you will have issues. Your new school will have different teaching standards based on their local culture. You can't simply teach the same way abroad as you do at home. If you can't adapt, you won't survive long.

7.    The person trying to run away from their problems at home. There is an old expat saying: “If an asshole gets on a plane at home, an asshole gets off the plane abroad.” Teaching in and learning about a new culture is going to be really challenging. If you are just doing so to avoid personal problems or mental health issues, they are not going to magically go away simply by teaching abroad.

cc InternationalEducators.com

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