News: A Year Off for International Service Work - Dec 7, 2019
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Saturday, December 7, 2019Candidate Stories

A Year Off for International Service Work

Jenny and Aaron Christman are celebrating their 20th anniversary in a most unusual way. They have taken their children, ages five and eight, on a journey. After nine years teaching at a school they loved, they gave their notice. The house and most of their possessions were sold. They don’t need them; they've gone abroad. Aaron explains,

Though we were quite happy with our positions and colleagues, we felt like we were at a crossroads. We decided we would be happiest choosing the path less traveled. We wanted to challenge ourselves and give our kids the opportunity to experience invaluable lessons.

Eleven years ago, Jenny and Aaron took time off from stateside teaching positions to spend 27 months as Peace Corps volunteers in Madagascar. “After our service, it seemed only natural to join the international teaching community,” says Aaron.. Having read many positive reviews online, the Christmans chose Search Associates [SEARCH] to help them realize their goal. Senior Associate Sally Gordon provided them with “a lot of friendly help,” as they built their profiles on the SEARCH website. During their year of traveling and service work abroad, Jenny and Aaron will research positions in an international school for the 2020-21 school year, so they will be checking the dashboard regularly. This bold couple offers advice to prospective international educators:

Power through the collection of information and references needed to build your SEARCH profile; don’t hesitate to contact your Associate when you have questions, and enjoy the process. It’s a great feeling to put yourself out there and think about all the possibilities that an international teaching career would bring.

Aaron and Jenny feel that their trip will make them even better and more informed educators who can share their experiences with their students. What has fueled the Christmans’ passion for teaching is the positive and productive exchanges that they have enjoyed with students—along with the ability to contribute to their growth and success. For now, though, Jenny and Aaron have planned this international trip for their own children. They explain,

We want them to know that the world is much bigger than what they experience here at home, and that it’s full of beautiful and challenging things. And what’s more, they can have a hand in changing it for the better. . . Each time our family goes on vacation, the kids are learning and making connections effortlessly—visiting markets and landmarks, interacting with other languages, seeing different vistas, etc. . . The mere fact of living and playing in a culture other than your own is enough to broaden a child’s mind.

Did You Know…?

During the past year, Search Associates has assisted over 3,000 teachers, counselors, librarians, and administrators find jobs.