A few weeks have passed since I’ve written about my plan to live the “American Dream” by teaching abroad. Don’t fret: I have not abandoned my dream, although a series of events have caused me to reconsider a number of times. I’ve actually been pretty active in a few Facebook groups for Black people who are currently teaching abroad in various countries. I was surprised to find such a large and active group. Ive been fortunate enough to connect with people on Twitter who’ve taught abroad, as well. A large number of people are in love with life outside the U.S. and are in no rush to return. Honestly, I do not blame them!
There are many factors to consider when planning to live and teach abroad. Since my first-choice destination is the UAE (Dubai or Abu Dhabi), the first research phase requires weighing teaching in public vs. private schools. According to members of the Facebook groups, public schools pay a little more than private schools; however, the students are less “well-behaved”. That made me giggle. I guess kids really are the same no matter where you go. All jokes aside though, I have a lot of patience when dealing with kids so that would not be a deal-breaker for me.
One of the perks of working with a private school is that the they provide fully furnished living accommodations. Several members of the FB groups recounted stories of living in hotels once they arrived. Upon receiving housing assignments, they had to find furnishings and get utilities connected in a matter of days. That sounds like something I would prefer to avoid. I will definitely ask very specific questions about accommodations when I get to that stage.
The group members have been extremely helpful and encouraging. The generosity of strangers undoubtedly makes this endeavor less daunting, especially on the days where that voice says “What the hell do you think you’e doing?” To silence that voice, I simply log into one of the groups, read and ask whatever questions come to mind. It’s the best way to silence the doubt.