Today, I have just finished my day with my 7-8 year olds and have to head to the conference room because we have a meeting. After the meeting I will prepare the last things for tomorrow and then it’s time to go home again. Tomorrow, nineteen 7-year olds will be waiting for me to collect them from downstairs. We have a full day with maths, literacy, guided reading, a visit to the library (we have a library in the school), Dutch lessons and we will be working on the project about food in different countries.
Having your own classroom is hard work, it’s not just creating lesson plans and teaching it. All the additional things take up a lot of time in the afternoons and sometimes in the evenings and weekends too. However, when your students look up to you with a smile on their face and say how happy they are with you as their teacher or when you provide a ‘lightbulb moment’ for them, that is such an incredible feeling and so worth it!
Especially at the beginning of the first year of teaching, you will realize that it’s really just you in the class. You are the one who has to decide what the classroom rules are, how you plan your day, what your expectations are of the students and you are responsible for all the children to achieve the objectives. Having your own class and classroom is a big responsibility. For me, it is the best job in the world.
ITEPS has helped me be more aware about the cultural diversity and the multiple perspectives children might have on a certain topic. It has given me many opportunities to network and meet wonderful people that teach in schools all over the world. What I wish I had learned more about during my four years are efficient planning strategies and ICT to make your life easier. There are many things that take up time from something you enjoy doing most: teaching children and making learning unforgettable.
My advice to ITEPS students is enjoy your time as a student and try to finish the assignments on time. It is hard work, but with your degree in international education you will definitely find a job. International schools all around the world are looking for passionate teachers who are experienced in international education. With your 4 years of ITEPS, you will have the right background knowledge to provide international education and you will probably have the opportunity to start working straight after graduation (maybe even with multiple job offers).
Teaching in an international school provides you so many opportunities, no day is the same. You are at the start of something great, a life-changing beginning to life as an international primary school teacher. Good luck and don’t forget to enjoy!
Mandy Touw, Group 4 teacher (year 3/2nd grade)
International School Eindhoven