Search Associates Candidate Kate Garcia had been teaching for four years at Colegio San Agustin in her home country of the Philippines when she realized she needed “a big CHANGE, to be CHALLENGED, and the ability to GROW professionally." Happily, she found all these elements teaching internationally. Kate has been teaching abroad for eight years, first at Hua Mao Multicultural Education Academy (now Ningbo HuaMao International School) in China and then for three years at Hanoi International School in Vietnam.
Now in her 13th year as an educator, Kate looks back with great satisfaction. Having learned much from people of different nations, she feels more open-minded, cultured, and globally aware. And she still gets to support and nurture students, and help them mold their dreams. Kate says,
“My favorite part of being a teacher is seeing each child as a unique individual who is naturally curious and full of potential.”
Kate landed her current appointment at Chadwick International (CI), South Korea, with the help of Search Associates (Search). Because many of her friends had been using Search, she took a leap of faith and registered. She used the website often; daily email alerts kept her updated on schools of interest. Now a fan of job fairs, Kate says,
“Search . . . changed my perspective about job fairs. . . I made friends, lots of professional connections, and the whole experience was a fulfillment. . . It was a great way to see what is out there, to get an idea about the school’s philosophy, school culture, extra-curricular offerings, employee benefits, and way of living in different countries. Search Associates helped me decide by giving me honest and unbiased opinions about schools.”
Kate researched CI on the Search website before attending the school’s presentation at 2018 Bangkok January. She calls the fair an amazing, nerve-wracking yet rewarding experience. A non-native English speaker, Kate initially felt scared to sell herself, to try to stand out amongst hundreds of applicants. With pep talks from her Associate Harry Deelman, Kate was able to score 14 sign-ups for interviews. What an achievement!
Kate was offered the 1st grade homeroom teacher position at CI. After an interview and a series of questions and clarifications, she asked the head of the Village School (elementary), “Why me?” and he replied, “Three letters, F-I-T. You are a good fit for our school.”
Kate found personal and professional fulfillment teaching overseas, and it isn’t about the benefits package. For her, it is 100% about the teaching and learning because her advice for prospective international teachers remains squarely there. Nothing else matters.
“Passion for learning and genuine concern for students should always be a top priority. Be a learner and an educator inside and outside the school, teach by example, and be a good role model to your students. Have a growth mindset, be open-minded, resourceful, and make a commitment to help every child reach his or her true potential.”