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Monday, October 7, 2013

The "Good" Life

We are a couple days from our "fall break" which we celebrate here in Jordan during Eid al Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice, a Muslim holiday which is in celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of submission to God, although later replacing his son with a lamb.

During our break, Shanna, Ryker, and I are headed to Norway.    We plan on hanging out in Oslo for a couple days but then heading out to the fjords on the western side of the country for the rest of the trip which we are excited about.  We will be taking the Bergen Railway which many consider the best train ride in the world.  We will also be taking the highest train in Europe and a fjord cruise along the way to Bergen.

Here is a picture from the Bergen railway.




I am hoping that we can rent a car in Bergen and drive towards more fjords and beautiful settings.  I would love to drive the Atlantic Road.  Have you heard of it?  It's supposed to be in the top 5 of most beautiful coastal roads in the world.  Check out these pics!




Anyways, I wanted to share some of the awesome "perks" about being an international educator.  It's nice to feel appreciated, respected, and rewarded in some ways for your skills in tangible ways.  The good life as I say.  Here are some of the "perks" of an international educator, specifically to teaching at ACS Amman.

Personal

-Tax Free Salary (almost everywhere in the ME)
-3 bedroom / 3 bathroom apartment free of charge.  All maintenance done by the school
-Car and all maintenance done by school
-Airline tickets for the 3 of us back to the States once a year
-Healthcare is free of charge without any premiums.  The healthcare here is very good by the way.
-Free tuition for dependents
-Matching retirement program
-Shipping Allowance


Professional

-$1100 a year for professional development.  I can choose the conference and the school foots the bill up to the $1100 amount.
-Small class sizes
-No standardized testing and attached ramifications because of success/failure
-Investment in Technology (24 iPads in fourth grade for 50 students)  I may get the chance to order more for my kids next year along with $2,000 just for apps!
-Supplies bought by school including books, resources, etc.
-Much less pressure/stress put on teachers  "Teachers can teach" because of the limited behavior issues
-Bonuses for staying beyond the 2 year contract.  2-3,000 extra each year you stay.  I can't believe schools actually pay you more to stay longer!

As I've told a few people already, it is definitely hard to imagine going back to teaching a public school setting in the US after having an experience like this.  I definitely can see how many veteran international teachers say that you will never go back to the US in the same capacity after getting "spoiled" at an international school.


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