About Raven Tukes

Hello! My name is Raven Tukes and I am currently a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant in Kinmen, Taiwan. Starting Fall 2016, I will be a graduate student at the Harvard Graduate School of Education pursuing my Masters in International Education Policy.

During the last year that I’ve been teaching overseas, I’ve developed some skills that should help me land a job when I return home.

Project development skills– Have you organized a school-wide holiday themed showcase? Established or coordinated a partnership with a school in another country? Devised your own English language curriculum that can be used after you leave? Yes. These are all examples of project development skills. If you have planned, coordinated and executed a project using various resources over a certain period of time, these skills are particularly useful for teachers looking to leave the profession and move into project based or international development-type careers.

Cross-cultural communication skills- Cultural clashes happen wherever we are in the world, even when we are in our home country. But, how you push through those challenges and communicate with those who are different with you in a way that is positive is what matters most. Have you had a cultural misunderstanding that was solved in a positive way? Yes? Chances are you’re developing skills in communicating with others who are different from you.

Adaptibility/Flexibility skills -Working in a foreign country is both challenging and rewarding. It takes a lot of practice and open-mindedness to adapt to a new culture and also thrive within that culture! While this is not true for everyone who is teaching outside of their home country, to some extent (if you are successful), teaching in another country shows that you are capable of adapting to change and being flexible in an environment that may not be comfortable at first. These skills are very marketable for those looking for other international careers.

Detail-Oriented– I mean what teacher isn’t? But specifically for English language teachers, this is a huge skill. Small things like the pronounce your words or how your write your letters can and will affect the way EFL learners (English as a Foreign Language) learn and understand English. These things may seem trivial at first, but if your inconsistent and neglect these small details when teaching, you can confuse your students and from there, things can really go down hill.

Relationship Building/Networking skills– Have you still been in contact with your foreign school to make sure that the projects you developed are still going strong? Are the projects you’ve developed sustainable and meant to last long after you’re gone? If so, you no doubt have relationship building skills. These are very important to whatever employer you’re seeking next. Your employer wants to know that you can contribute to the longevity of their business/organization.

teaching english abroad

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