At Teacher Horizons we love to get feedback from teachers about their experiences all over the world. We recently sent out a questionnaire to get some of this inside scoop. We have already shared with you the answers to “tell me something you have learned” (read it here) and there will be more to read in the coming months!
This week I am going to let you in on some responses to: “Tell me about a funny or interesting moment that has happened to you whilst teaching internationally”. Enjoy!
“I enjoy little moments that are totally different from anything that would happen in my own country. For example, I remember looking outside my window whilst marking at my desk to see a snake chase and eventually catch a frog; it was like a real life David Attenborough episode! I later saw Archie the school pup chase a snake and think he had killed it, only to then watch it then wiggle away moments later.”
“I guess the funny things usually come from misunderstandings, due to accents or different uses of words. But the thing that makes it memorable is seeing students coming into a system with no knowledge of the language and just pushing through the fear. It is amazing when they finally start smiling as words begin to make sense. I still get a thrill from teaching science with an Australian accent and hearing the kids saying it exactly the same as me.”
“I love Asia: On one of my first days of teaching there was a funny noise coming from the AC, it seemed like it was wheezing and stuttering. Then, a dead lizard flew out of it and landed on the floor with scales falling like rain all over the students.”
“My most memorable teaching experience is during a countrywide, three day storm, when I had to teach a lesson using the torches on students’ phones, covered by clear water bottles, as lamps.”
“I enjoy the cultural differences which can feel horrendously awkward at the time but are hilarious later. One example for me is when the Head Teacher of the school I worked at in Nepal wanted to hold my hand as he showed me around the premises. I politely declined.”
“My most memorable experience was when I was teaching the grade 4 pupils and one of them interrupted me saying he knew what I was teaching and told a completely out of topic explanation. I felt I had to let him finish but it was all so wrong.”
“A memorable moment for me was in December last year when I had to go briefly back to my country, Kenya, so I left school a week before it closed. My pupils became very emotional because they thought I was not coming back. I was really touched to see how much they loved and appreciated me.”