The last few times I have been planning to move, things have happened faster than I planned.
If I remember correctly, I came up with idea to move overseas in 2004 and I think attended an information session that November. I looked at my debts, my car lease, apartment lease and all signs seem to point to finding a position for the 2006-2007 school year. I decided I would attend a job fair in early 2006, I browsed the websites of some of the schools that had been at the fair in previous years, prepared my application package in September and October and mailed it off. But then I repotted some plants the weekend of October 23 and that changed everything. The newspapers I laid down on the table were the Globe and Mail employment ads. My flatmate at the time wasn’t enjoying her job so I was reading out various ludicrous suggestions when I came across this ad for the Canadian International School in Singapore:
I had missed the deadline for the Ontario interviews (I was living in Ottawa at the time) and something was wrong with my home Internet at the time but on Monday morning, I quickly edited the cover letter I had written for the job fair and emailed off my CV and references. Long story short I ended up with an interview that Saturday and by the next Wednesday I had been offered a job for second semester so I moved in January 2006 instead of August 2006.
When I moved to Singapore, I had an initial contract for two years but I thought I would probably stay for 5 years if things went well. By early 2008 I had decided that I would move on at the end of the 2008-2009 school year unless my position changed – which it did. I moved into the library in August 2008 and stayed for another 3 years which fit with my original 5 year plan.
Sometime in the first half of 2009, I went to a presentation by Gemma Sisia about The School of St. Jude in Arusha, Tanzania. It sounded like she was doing great work and I signed up for the e-newsletter but didn’t think too much about it. The December newsletter mentioned they were looking for a teacher-librarian which was intriguing but I didn’t think I could afford to take a year off so I let it go. Around the same time, a friend and I were planning a trip to East and Southern Africa for July 2010 and I thought about visiting the school. I made a donation to the school in January 2010 and got a reply asking if I would consider coming to volunteer for a year. I visited St. Jude’s at the beginning of the trip and then mulled over volunteering for the rest of the trip. By the time I flew back to Singapore from Cape Town in August, I knew I was heading into my last year there and that I was keen to return to Tanzania. The school year at the School of St. Jude runs from January to December so I figured I would go in January 2012. This meant being unemployed for the latter half of 2011 so I signed up to teach summer school in July. Shortly after I committed to that, I received an email from St. Jude’s asking if I could come earlier, say March 2011, and I ended up going in August 2011.
In October 2010, the principal and PYP coordinator of a school in Switzerland came to my school in Singapore. I was intrigued by the idea of a bilingual (French/English) PYP school and I was very impressed by the presentations and workshops they put on. I filed it away, thinking that maybe I’d look into the school after Tanzania.
I thought that I would stay at St. Jude’s until at least December 2012 and possibly longer. In January 2012, the teacher-librarian job was posted at the school in Switzerland. My initial reaction was that it was too soon so I couldn’t apply but then I realized that if I did get it, I could stay at St. Jude’s until August thereby fulfilling my commitment of one year. I applied, got the job and did just that.
I came here thinking that it would be good to stay for three years. One year to figure things out, a year to put things in place and a year to consolidate, job hunt and prepare to leave. (However my contract is only two years so I don’t have to stay three years.) I told myself last year that I was not to think about where to go next for fear of it all happening too soon. Job postings are starting to appear but I think I will stick with my original plan.