During my international teaching journey thus far I have had the opportunity to meet fantastic colleagues, students, and parents. However, one main point always lingers with me: this is a temporary situation. Schools back home also have a temporary quality about them, but this is exaggerated to the extreme in the international teaching lifestyle.
For example, I already know that two of my good friends are planning to leave here after this year. I don't like this! I know I'm going to be here at least two years and then I will see (I signed a two-year contract). We have to decide by December the year before to give them enough warning, so I can't imagine how many rumours will be spreading about who is leaving come December!
I bring this up because I had a student today in my grade 7 C.A.R.T. class (beginning band) who asked me if we could possibly move our Holiday Band concert earlier in December, since she was moving back the US. I said we could probably arrange a lunchtime concert, and we definitely will. A couple of the other students overheard her saying she was leaving, and then chaos ensued. She hadn't told her best friend yet who happens to sit next to her in band. Several of these kids have been together for 8 years. There was so much crying throughout the rest of the period, and I don't blame them. International schools may be a temporary situation, but several of these students have been here together since Kindergarten. When someone moves away in an international setting, it's unlikely you'll see them again, as they tend to move countries and continents, rather than simply moving cities or schools. .
Several of my colleagues were raised in International Schools since their parents were international teachers. They are now teaching in International Schools, and several of them have children who are students are our school. It's a lifestyle, and I can see how it can get addicting. Part of me hopes that one day I will be able to teach at an international school with my future husband, and have our kids attend international schools. For now, though, I still view the situation as temporary. I don't know what's going to happen next year - who will I teach? Who will I teach with? Who will I hang out with? - but that's okay, because that's the international teaching life.