Teaching overseas is certainly the experience of a lifetime. But, if that experience conflicts with your personal values it can turn out to be far more than you bargained for. ISR recently received a review for an International School in Myanmar (aka Burma), a country known for its human rights abuses. Here is an excerpt from that review:
“Perhaps what has been most disturbing for me has been the troubled conscience I live with since I arrived almost two months ago. It is well-known that there are over 2000 political prisoners in Burma’s jails, to whom the Red Cross has been denied access. The Burmese government has been carrying out ethnic cleansing campaigns involving systematic rape, looting, the use of forced labor and deployment of child soldiers against minority peoples…Over 90% of the children at our school are Burmese and probably over half of them are children or grandchildren of military personnel who have been destroying the country and oppressing the people of Burma for the past half century…..”
In response to this review, another teacher at the school posted with a very different point of view. Here is an excerpt:
“Part of being a teacher is educating your students so they can go on to do great things with their lives. Whoever their family happens to be should not influence how good a teacher you are to the student. If it does, you may want to think about a new career….”
Obviously, the teacher with the conscience-conflict should have done his/her homework before accepting the job. With that being said, what are your feelings on working in a country that abuses its people? What personal criteria do you have concerning where you will, and will not accept a teaching position?