Friday, February 18, 2011

The beginning...

The adventure is beginning.  Really, it began months ago, but it's real now.  Last fall, I registered for the UNI Overseas Placement Fair and began researching overseas schools, compiling my resume and letters of recommendation, and writing my personal statement and cover letters.  In December, I began contacting schools that would be at the fair, expressing my interest in their open positions.  I heard back from quite a few asking me to stop by at the fair for an interview.  After student teaching ended in mid-January, I spent two frenzied weeks researching my top schools in detail and prepping for my first real teaching interviews.  And then, the date of the fair arrived. 

The UNI job fair was a whirlwind of intense decision making.  After the round robin interview-sign up, I walked away with 9 scheduled interviews, although three of the schools I was most interested were scheduled in late interview slots on Saturday, and those positions ended up being filled before the time for my interview came.  However, by the end of Friday, I had been offered two jobs, and two other schools expressed intense interest.  On Saturday, it came down to a stressful decision between the Guamani Private School in Guayama, Puerto Rico, and a quality school in Saudi Arabia (a country not even on my radar before the fair, but a school which had gone out of their way to recruit me).  With the support of my family (hooray for cellular phones and the internet), I signed with the school in Puerto Rico.

So, in approximately six months, I will pick up my life in the States, leave my friends and family behind, and move to Puerto Rico.  I will be teaching 7th and 8th grade English there for the next two years.  I can't really put into words my excitement level. 

Also, I must find a way to share the relief I felt to receive my family's full support.  I never thought I would find myself on a tropical island, or a US territory, but that's where life is taking me.  The fact that I will be working in a small (40,000 people), safe community in a country with no major political strife at the moment makes my family extremely happy.  And I'm very excited by the multiple offers I've had from many many people to come and visit me.  Airfare is pretty cheap to Puerto Rico, and I welcome everyone; even if you sleep on my couch and visit during a week while I'm teaching, I would love to see you all! 

So as my adventure begins, I will use this blog to keep all who care to listen up to date on my travels and experiences.  Come share with me not only the experience of living in a new country, but also the trials and tribulations of a first year teacher.  Join me as I, to use my inspirational little sister's words, "rock that tropical paradise." 

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