Too Frazzled to Go Back

July 28, 2016

..Hello ISR, I’ve noticed you post teachers’ letters from time to time and open them up for discussion. The situation I’m in is literally making me physically ill from stressing over what to do. I’m just frazzled at this point and could use some advice and support from other teachers. Maybe someone out there has been in the same situation? Here goes, I hope you post this:

..This past school year, I (a single woman in my early 30s) was teaching in the Middle East and can honestly say the place I’m in is disgusting beyond words. I do take care to cover up very well, yet I literally can’t walk 10 steps on the street without some jackass ogling me or making disgusting sounds. Men have even lewdly touched me in crowded situations. From the city to the the school, just the thought of the place sickens me.

..The final straw was when I turned to walk away from a little kiosk and glimpsed the driver of a parked taxi eyeing me with his hand down his pants — you can fill in the rest. The entire scene is repulsive and oppressive and I feel like I’m trapped inside a nightmare. The school is no gem either. I won’t go into it but it’s definitely a candidate for a seething ISR School Review.

..The point is, I hate my life at this school so much that I am seriously considering not returning after the summer. Actually, I don’t know if I can face another moment of it. When I left for the summer I took everything of any value with me. Any ideas, anyone? I really need some advice. Sincerely, Stressed to the Max

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“Grounded” Back Home

July 21, 2016

Dear ISR, The 2015-16 academic year is over and I’m happy for that. The problem is I resigned my teaching position back in December, attended an ISS Fair but did not find a job for the upcoming school year.

   Now what? I’ve been overseas for 11 years straight and have absolutely no plans to make living in the States a permanent situation again. Right now I’m essentially without much of a home, car or job, my health insurance is soon to expire, and have no social life since old friends and respected colleagues have moved on a long time ago from our hometown history. Worse, making new acquaintances seems like a pointless effort.

I’m feeling “grounded” so to speak — bored, frustrated, a little bit depressed — like I’m going seriously backwards in my life and career. I have savings but hate to deplete it, so substituting will hopefully defray daily expenses. I am registering for both ISS and Search recruiting fairs, taking no chances of not getting another international teaching job. But for now life isn’t much fun at all…

I’d really like to hear from other international educators who are, or have been, in the same boat. Hearing how others survived this sense of idling while my career and life languish, or from those who are currently dealing with it, would go a long way. Maybe those of us in this situation can help each other using your much appreciated website as a place to meet and share ideas and experiences. Thanks very much, ISR, for considering my request to share my letter with your readers.


(Name withheld)

Hesitant to Leave Home?

July 14, 2016

With the recent rash of terror attacks, more than a handful of International Educators are reconsidering their decision to teach overseas. France, Belgium, Indonesia, United States, Turkey, Tunisia and other formerly “safe spots” have now taken a place on the “proceed with caution” list.

The possibility of finding yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time is about as likely as winning the lottery. Still, any increased exposure to the possibility of terror is enough to keep some of us home. In a previous ISR Survey, 360 of the 698 International Educator respondents said the attacks on France and Brussels were not deterrents, and they would continue to live their lives as always while taking the normal precautions one would in any city at home or abroad.

ISR asks: Has the most recent barrage of terror attacks caused you to reassess International Teaching as a career? Take our short Survey and see what International Educators have to say on this topic.