This is a note relevant for the “Leavers”, “Stayers”, and “Newbies”. You know who you are in an international school.
Transience in international schools is part of the landscape. The end of another school year is approaching. Almost all international educators and membes of an international community will be transitioning in the coming months. Whether you are leaving or staying, you are transitioning. Transition is something to think carefully about. Inevitably transition comes with a specific collection of emotions, actions, and characteristic behaviors. It’s natural to “pull back” if you are leaving. It’s also natural to “pull back” if you are a Stayer, surrounded by Leavers. Sometimes this is simply to protect oneself from the discomfort that comes with being left behind.
The transition from being a “newbie” in a school community to being a ‘veteran” after one year, while preparing to support the transition of next year’s newbies is also a pattern to consider. Transition may become more complicated when you are a veteran of the school, or a host country teacher who has been part of a specific school for many years and will now see another “flock” of newbies arrive, two years after the last newbies arrived and two months after they have left! People come and go. It’s the nature of an international school.
I urge people to remain as present as possible. How do you want to “show up” at work amongst peers in the final weeks? My hope is that members of the community remain as connected as possible as the year draws to a close. Students and families deserve the best, and most focused, attention and all educators deserve the best from one another each and every day. Pay close attention to your actions, your thoughts, and your feelings over the coming weeks. All need to manage personal responses to the multiple transitions.
The fact is that it takes an entire faculty to build and sustain programs for students in schools. Commitment and dedication to students and learning must be kept in the forefront.