Photo Credit: TN
This Woman Created A Program To Guide BIPOC Educators In Teaching Abroad
Adrienne is the owner of Worldwide Educator, LLC an education consulting company focused on empowering educators to own their instructional genius while activating students. Beyond this, Adrienne seeks to help BIPOC educators to begin an international teaching journey through individual coaching, resume and interview preparation, and her three-module “Take Your Talents Abroad” course.
She has worked with educators across the country and the world (currently in the Cayman Islands as an assistant principal) in a variety of topics, including but not limited to Differentiated Instruction, Student Centered Learning, and Effective English Language Arts Instruction.
TN: What inspired you to start Worldwide Educator?
Adrienne: I started Worldwide Educator in order to give those who are looking to go abroad the support I felt like I didn’t have when I first started my journey. What that looks like is help from the initial thinking about how to start an application all the way through to supporting somebody as they land in their new home abroad. This includes finding the right recruiter, resume support, mock interviews, and contract review. I hope, through the services I offer, to empower BIPOC educators to have the best international education experience possible. For some, I am a homegirl that you can bounce ideas off of, and for others, a formalized advisor on all things international education.
TN: How is it different being a teacher abroad versus in the US?
Adrienne: For me, I have had so much more financial freedom, work-life balance, and career mobilization abroad than I did in the United States. Additionally, I have learned many new teaching strategies from my peers from various countries with new ways of thinking and educating children. A few other key differences have been more planning periods, a more balanced school calendar, and a plethora of resources for instruction.
TN: What has been your biggest challenge in living and teaching abroad?
Adrienne: My biggest challenge has been missing key life events of friends and family back home. Sometimes the time difference has made it difficult to keep in touch with those I love. Additionally, because my life has changed being abroad, it can be hard to relate to some people.
In terms of teaching abroad, the joy that comes from learning from educators globally can also be very difficult. Attempting to establish norms with people from a host of countries with a diverse set of experiences can be tough. In addition, international education can attract some who do it as an escape and not a passion, which can make it challenging to have critical conversations about education.
TN: What is your favorite memory from living as an expat?
Adrienne: My favorite memory was being able to see my family in Australia after not seeing them for 20 years. Living in China allowed me to visit them during Chinese New Year. It was just when everyone was learning about COVID. Although I got trapped out of China and lost my job, I would not trade my experience with my family for anything. To use my job and vacation as a means to reconnect with my family is priceless.
TN: What advice do you have for someone looking to move and teach abroad?
Adrienne: I would recommend three things. First, know who you are and what you want from your experience. Use this desire to help guide you as you’re making decisions about where you go, what position you take, and how long you stay. Next, do high-quality research. This includes getting help from people who know what they’re talking about, researching the school and country you might go to, and understanding that what you read online is only a portion of the story. You should be researching potential schools and destinations equally. Lastly, be patient. Your first job may not be as easy to get. Additionally, you will have to be patient when you arrive because things will be different from what you’re used to back home.