In this global world more and more children are being raised in cultures that are different to their passport – figures show that there are over 4 million children being schooled in international schools and the number is growing.
Although both from Australia Craig and Lorraine Eldred met while teaching in China several years ago and have spent the time since as international teachers, also working in Vietnam and Dubai along the way. As expat teachers with over 13 years’ experience overseas Craig and Lorraine are in the unique position of giving their perspective both as parents and as teachers at an international school in the UAE.
We caught up with them in Abu Dhabi, where they shared their thoughts including Lorraines perspective as a woman living in an Arabic man’s world.
You can follow Craig’s blog at https://eldredofarabia.wordpress.com
What I learned from speaking with Craig and Lorraine:
- We live in a changing environment for children. With a global environment and ever changing career paths the children of today will need to learn transferrable skills and how to learn rather than specific knowledge that might become outdated before they even complete their education.
- Teaching internationally offers new opportunities for teachers to travel with an ever increasing demand and new positions being offered every day. A preferences towards families which offer more stability has been the preferred option for schools in the past but cheaper single teachers are now becoming more sought after.
- It can be difficult dealing with a foreign environment as a woman. Lorraine has trained herself to not make eye contact in both Asia and the Middle East and has to deal with situations such as needing Craig’s permission to get her license and to withdraw money at the bank. Unfortunately the downside of living internationally can be some elements of chauvinism but it’s not something you can change. The only hope is that these factors will eventually change over time.
- Like the Curtis Family the Eldred’s have raised third culture children who have adapted well to never living in their parent’s home environment.