What Makes a Great International Educator?

One of the challenges of recruiting expatriate teachers for international schools is the personal / professional dynamic. As Headmaster of an American international school here in Rio de Janeiro, I have to take into consideration both the likelihood of a potential new hire being professionally successful at my school as well as the likelihood that the teacher will be personally happy and fulfilled in Rio de Janeiro.

This year here at EARJ we conducted a lengthy exercise where we studied our school’s prior experience of teachers who have worked at EARJ and who were both successful in the classroom and happy in their personal lives here in Rio. We then correlated our findings with the research literature in this area and identified a set of factors that most strongly predict that a new hire teacher will be both professionally successful at EARJ and personally happy in Rio de Janeiro. We call this set of factors ‘the EARJ Educator Profile’:

Screen Shot 2018-02-03 at 12.39.37 PM

Make no mistake, teaching is a challenging profession. It requires a highly developed skillset as well as considerable professional education and intentional preparation. Gone are the days when someone ‘fell into teaching’ as a back-up plan. Today’s professional educator is a highly qualified, skilful professional with a profound sense of mission and social duty. It is not surprising that such educators are often hard to find but believe me, no matter how much effort it takes to find them it is well worth it. Ask any parent or any student and they will tell you: a fantastic educator is worth her weight in gold.

I am lucky enough to have worked with a great many wonderful educators in my 25+ years in the profession. And today, as I write this in my current school, I have never been more proud or lucky to be able to say that I work with amazing educators each and every day here at EARJ.



One thought on “What Makes a Great International Educator?

  1. Fascinated to hear how the EARJ combines both experience and research to guide their recruitment process! Although there will always be variations based on individual character and background, it seems to me both a sound approach and a novel one – to consider characteristics that have helped previous educators develop a successful career at the school.

    The EARJ is a well-established and dynamic school experiencing transformational leadership. Rio is a long-celebrated city of culture and diversity, developing a new global role. As a future member of the science department (Gavea campus), I am very much looking forward to becoming acquainted with both!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s