Thus far, I have offers from two different countries, each with their own sets of pros and cons. I can easily see myself in either location. Next Friday, just to add to the mental process, I have yet another interview, which I have quite a good feeling about. On the bright side, it's the first time in my life that I've ever had more than one job offer at a time. At the same time, I've always found multiple options to be a bit . . . well, stressful.
So what are my priorities in this job hunt?
- Need. I'm going into this as a ministry, so I want to go to the place that needs me most, a place where I can make a real difference. In other words, poverty is an attraction. I want to go someplace where I can be a blessing to a school that cannot easily attract good teachers.
- God's Guiding. If I cannot discern God leading me, then I don't want to go. It's one of those life lessons that I learned the hard way. ☺
- Opportunity for innovation. One of my (many) complaints with the American educational system is that while it claims to encourage teacher creativity, it really doesn't. In fact, many schools are currently following policies and curriculums that are downright stifling. I suppose part of the problem is that schools don't really trust their teachers. One of the best parts of working overseas is the opportunity to try new methods, create original curriculum, and exercise my creativity to the maximum, for the benefit of my students.
- Support. Wherever I go, I need to have a supportive base in the other faculty, the administration, and the local church or mission. I also, sadly, have to have enough financial support from the school to be able to not only live locally, but also pay my student loan payments.
- Housing. I have to keep at least a little bit of safety in mind, so I'm only considering schools that provide housing. Believe me, in the places I'm looking, this is a necessity!
- Countries that are not presently at war with the US. I figure this is a good general rule to follow, even though it would be phenomenal to teach in Afghanistan. Well, maybe someday after my great grandchildren finish fighting that war . . .