Johnny Wilson liked working with kids, and early on, felt a strong responsibility to work for kids. He recounts,
"I worked as a teaching assistant in Portsmouth with an old-school, 'chalk and talk' misery guts of a teacher, and I thought I could do a better job than that."
After graduating from university, Johnny earned a Post Graduate Certificate in Education. His first assignment, however, landed him in a very challenging state school in East London, England. He was brand new--and already about to quit. Many of his students were not interested in school. Johnny adds:
"…After [two years], I was 'burnt out' and knew that if I wanted to stay in education, it would have to be in an international school. In international schools you get to teach more, without all the drama of dealing with pupils' behavior problems."
In the following years, Johnny took positions in language schools both in Japan and the U.K. as well as trying his hand at journalism for five years. In 2010, he began teaching at the Newton International School in Qatar. After that, he took a position at the Singapore International School in Hanoi where he stayed for four years.
This fall, Johnny began teaching Grade 5 at Xi'an Hi-tech International School in China. The school most appealed to him because of its small size yet big plans for the future. He was also attracted by the professional development opportunities it offers.
Johnny learned of Search Associates from various friends. Though he would like to attend a job fair in the future, he used the database and the website alone to find his present position. Johnny described how searchassociates.com was invaluable to him:
"On the Search Associates website you are able to look at whether schools prefer to hire single teachers, those with dependents, or both. I understand why some schools don't want to hire those with dependents, so it is good to know at the beginning, so one doesn't waste time applying to them. I have a dependent wife and an 18-month-old son now, so I had to choose carefully."
Johnny advises prospective international educators to be thorough in their research, but above all, to take the leap into teaching abroad. He exclaims,
"Do it, as you can have a relatively stress-free and financially comfortable lifestyle that is a good life/work mix!"