What Was Your Ah-Ha Moment?

November 17, 2011

Hindsight is 20/20, and when you’re smack in the middle of a situation you may not realize that your present actions may open unforeseen doors in the future. You might not reap the fruits of your actions for years to come, and it may be only in retrospect that you put 2 & 2 together and say, “ah-ha”…it’s that which led to this. If only I had known back then.

Yes, we grow from our mistakes, or at least I’ve been told, but I think I’ve grown the most from realizations that took place in those few and far-between “ah-ha” moments. We’ve all had such moments as international educators, the moments when a light comes on and suddenly we’re wiser, more savvy and more worldly concerning our chosen career.

Have you had an “ah-ha” moment in regards to some aspect of your international teaching career that you would like to share with colleagues? We can all learn from each others’ experiences. We invite you to share your experiences and realizations..

Would You Sacrifice Your Overseas Career?

November 10, 2011

An international teacher silenced and harassed by a corrupt administration recently wrote¬† Dr. Spilchuk (ISR on line teacher advisor) asking for advice: “Should I stand up for my academic principles, possibly destroying any future hope of securing another overseas teaching position, or curb my comments and quietly move on to hopefully a better school at the end of the academic year?” (ISR has been asked to keep the specific situation confidential.)

………………………………………Dr. Spilchuk’s Advice
Dear In-a-Quandary,
The one thing I have learned over time is that standing on principle, while feeling good at the time, can be painful in the long run. There are always those of us who must stand on a principle or things will never change. However, my advice to you is to let this one go and look after your best interest instead. I have been in this country several times over the¬† years so am very aware of the situation. You will not change it by making a stand here. What you may do is limit your possibilities for doing a whole lot of good for a whole lot of children in the future if this school chooses to pursue blackballing you. You must decide: Is it worth standing on principle for this one situation or is it better to maintain your potential to educate so many children in the future? I feel for you…not an easy choice. I have stood on principle many times….but I have also made the second choice.

Best and keep me posted,

In some situations schools have the upper hand as they can wield the axe over our careers and current financial well-being. Add family into the mix and taking on a school can can have far-reaching consequences. Many teachers have successfully sued their schools for breach of contract, and won. But when it comes to a conflict of ethics in a country that universally squelches free speech there is nothing to be won and no protection to be found. You’re on your own.

Have you been in this or a similar situation? How did you make it through? ISR invites you to weigh in on this topic.