Studied MA Education (Leadership and Management) online
A day in the life of an international teacher
“Sometimes, people ask me how I found my job in an international school and I tell them I was lucky; the job found me.”
Jerome is a Year 6 teacher and Key Stage 2 Coordinator at St Andrews (Sathorn) International School in Bangkok. Originally from London, he spent a few years teaching at a Primary School in South London before he got itchy feet and moved to New Zealand in the hope of finding teaching work there. Having arrived at the wrong time of year, he ended up working 6 days a week labouring on a motorway tunnel being built under the city.
Just when Jerome was considering packing up and going home, he got a tip off from an old friend about a teaching job at a great school in Bangkok.
“Seven years later and I am still there, at the same wonderful school in the most amazing city. I fell head over heels in love with the place, the people and everything else about it.”
When Jerome felt ready he applied to a Key Stage leadership position and is now responsible for leading a team of people who are all passionate about their work with children and constantly striving to improve and develop their practice.
Whilst still teaching his Year 6 students, Jerome was asked by his Head if he was interested in applying for an MA to compliment his leadership role. Although initially apprehensive about the idea of juggling work, family and studies, Jerome was recommended to look into the MA Leadership and Management at the University of Derby Online Learning by a friend in a similar situation. After some deliberation, he finally applied for the course and started his studies alongside his teaching role.
A day in my life
I wake up very early every day (my body clock has never been the same since the arrival of my daughter) and jump on a motorbike taxi for the short journey to school in downtown Bangkok. I’m usually at my desk by 7am and I can get a solid hour of studying in before the children arrive for the day.
My day is then a mixture of teaching and leadership duties. We are fortunate to have some brilliant specialist teachers for a range of subjects at our school and while my class are in those lessons, I make the most of my time in order to get as much done as possible. After school it’s usually meetings or ECAs and then a bit more time for work until 5pm - when I try to leave my desk so I have some time at home with my daughter. If I haven’t finished an email or marking a book, I am now getting better at walking away, knowing I can finish it first thing the next morning.
Once the little one is in bed and I’ve caught up with my (amazingly patient and supportive) wife over dinner, it’s time to put my study hat on. It can be tough sometimes especially after a long day but like anything, getting started is the tough part.
The UDOL course is ideal for someone in my position because you can do just about everything through your laptop wherever there is WIFI. Units are broken down into weekly chunks and all of the reading materials, forums and activities are online which helps you to organize your studies around your other life commitments. What I’m enjoying most is having the opportunity to meet and collaborate online with a range of other aspiring leaders from all over the world, tying the theory we are covering to our own work contexts. Despite the initial apprehension, I’m really happy I have taken the plunge - it is making me a more reflective leader and hopefully a more effective one.
With baby number two on the way, things will no doubt get a little trickier (visions of night feeds with a laptop) but I’m keeping a positive mindset. Things won’t be the same but we’ll manage. Aptly enough, the unit I’m studying right now is Managing Change!
Find out more about taking your teaching career to the next level with UDOL’s MA Education (Leadership and Management). The course is delivered 100% online and has three start dates in January, May or September.