Teaching in a 'war zone'

My name is Anneloes and I graduated from ITEPS in 2017. I started my first job as a primary school teacher on the beautiful Caribbean island Saint Maarten.

My first weeks as a kindergarten teacher were crazy, there are so many things I have to do now that I never experienced to be so hard in the teaching practices. All the meetings, reports, parents… You are responsible now and that means you have to work hard! The best part of being a teacher is having your own class, you can do exactly what you want and you can decorate your room the way you want to. Best of all: there is nobody watching you all the time!

After a month on the island a category 5 hurricane (Irma) came by. The beautiful, tropical island of Saint Maarten changed into a war zone. We had to go to a well for water and spent the days without electricity and no contact with our families.. The school was (and still is) badly damaged.

A thing that ITEPS taught me is the experience abroad. The teaching experiences abroad helped to understand what life abroad really is and nothing in school is new: you only have to do more yourself now.

I think my first job is one I will always keep with me, and especially in these conditions. However, the best thing ITEPS gave me is that next year I can be on the other side of the world!

"First week after Irma, we didn’t have a classroom anymore so I taught outside."

"After a week, we moved to the gym.

This is where I teach now."

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