Last summer the most common question we got was, “Are you staying?”
The answer is yes! We signed a new 2 year extension of our contract. It’s odd because we signed in October even though we aren’t even through our second year. Decisions about hiring are made early in the international teaching world because orchestrating international moves means visas, translating documents, wading through multiple governments’ bureaucracies, and sometimes shipping belongings.
Calvin is in the 2nd grade now, and we’ve committed to staying until the end of his 4th grade year. In October of his 4th grade year, we will decide if we want to sign on again for 1 or 2 years, if we get offered those extensions.
We came into this thinking that we wanted to find a school where we could stay for 4-6 years, so it’s a good feeling to have that hope and expectation fulfilled.
I think that many people heard our plans and thought there was a pretty good chance we’d come back to the US after 2 years. Maybe I’m wrong in that assessment. For people who live in the US and always have, I think it sometimes gives them anxiety to hear about people who leave.
We’re in it. I don’t see an end date to our international teaching careers. I’ve met other teachers or expats in different professions who are eyeing a return. They feel the distance from family, the glitter has worn off, they are looking for a change. I completely understand that feeling. That may come for us eventually, but I can’t imagine it. With the ability to change up our whole life every 5-6 years, our love of change and novelty will always be satisfied.
What we have gained as a family make it hard for me to imagine returning to a life in the US. Our kids’ excellent education at the same school where we teach. The language learning that happens for them and us. The travel, the adventures, the experiences. I’m also really loving this community. I work with smart, funny, committed, wise, innovative teachers and admin. They’re seekers and risk takers, and I feel accepted and valued by them.
So, here we go!