|Meyer family in our APIS hats.|
Since I first became a teacher almost 15 years ago, I've wanted to teach abroad. I traveled internationally in college and realized quickly how little I knew about the world - and that I wanted to keep learning. Luckily, my husband, Dan, feels the same way about exploring the world, so I started researching how I could teach in a foreign country. In the midst of this, we had two children, who we knew we wanted to experience global travel as well, but not when they were too young.
This fall, when my boys were 11 and 8, Dan and I were talking about future opportunities for them and came to the conclusion that this would be the year I'd try to get an international teaching job. We felt the boys would be old enough to remember the experience, and they were starting to need more diverse opportunities than what our small, rural community could give them. Knowing that not many international schools hire teachers with families - and without a teaching spouse on top of that - I figured I'd work as hard as I could on my application this year, see where it took us, and then call it quits if it didn't work out.
I sent all of my teaching credentials to the University of Northern Iowa, which hosts an International Teaching Job Fair every winter. They shared my information with hundreds of schools, and I started getting interview requests from around the world. After a few Skype interviews, the offer I decided to accept was from Asia Pacific International School (APIS) in Seoul, Korea. I am very impressed with the vision of the school and excited about living in Seoul.
So, the Meyer family will be moving across the world at the end of July! Needless to say, the next couple of months will be very busy for us, but I'm hoping to share some of our experiences on this blog. So you might get to learn more about my family and personal life than you have in the past! Once I arrive at APIS, I will see how much they are comfortable with me sharing about my students and classroom. I will continue to blog about science teaching as well.
I'm very excited about where this journey will take my family, and me personally, as an educator. On my last day of classes here in Springfield, I gave all of my students a pair of chopsticks. I told them how I have always wanted to learn how to use chopsticks, but it was hard for me so I never stuck with it. Now that we'll be living in Seoul, I'm more determined than ever to become skilled in the use of chopsticks. So we bought a pair of metal chopsticks for each person in the family, and we've been practicing using them at every meal. It takes me about twice as long to eat my food, and I often get impatient and frustrated, but I'm making progress. I shared this with my students as a metaphor for my hopes for them. I told them to find that "thing" they're passionate about and work as hard as they can to fulfill their goals associated with that thing. It might be difficult or frustrating, but eventually progress will be made. On the chopsticks I gave my students, I attached a piece of paper with this quote:
"If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you." - Fred DevitoI know there will be stressful times in our move to Seoul and adjusting to a new home, job, and culture, but I am looking forward to the challenge and the changes in my own learning that will result.