Brenda Faz: Finding her Professional Dream in Brazil

Meet Brenda Faz, a technology teacher and integrator currently teaching at Yangon International School. Next fall, she’ll be leading new classrooms and her own makerspace at Escola Americana do Rio de Janeiro. Share in her journey below! 

Please introduce yourself and describe why you wanted to teach overseas. What was the call behind it?
Right after getting my undergrad in international relations and not knowing what to do with it, I set off to Korea to teach English. After a few months, I decided this “overseas thing” was for me. I set off for Thailand to continue my English teaching adventure. After a year teaching younger students, I decided to pursue a masters in education to continue my education career. I returned to my native Texas and taught for two years in public schools and obtained my masters in education. But the overseas bug had already bit me! I signed up with ISS and off I went to a job fair in San Francisco. After a crazy week, my next adventure was decided: I was off to teach at The American School of Dubai. My adventure has since continued.

Congratulations on landing your newest international position at the Escola Americana do Rio de Janeiro! What excites you most about your new role?
​​After living in Dubai and Yangon for the past 7 years, I am ready for a new adventure and a new continent! Rio de Janeiro is an exciting and vibrant city with lots of amazing adventures for me. At my current post in Yangon International School, I am a technology teacher and integrator in the lower elementary school. At EARJ, I now have an opportunity to teach older students (upper ES and MS). I also get to run my very own Makerspace; a professional dream I’ve had for years!

What research did you do before accepting your job?
​​This now being my third post with an international school, I’ve managed to build up a repertoire of questions and “look fors” based on my experiences. Of course, this is different for everyone! For me, I look for curriculum, standards, and program compatibility; benefits, salary, and most importantly, savings potential; professional development culture and availability; and FINALLY, running and hiking routes.

What made you sign up with a service like ISS, and how has your experience been?​
​​On my first adventures in Korea and Thailand, I met teachers who had recruited with ISS and were currently teaching at international schools. Once I was looking for a job after two years in Texas, I researched my options with ISS. Everything I read made me feel comfortable to put my next career move in their hands. The job fair in San Francisco was very well organized and the entire process was smooth and painless. My job in Brazil is the third post I’ve acquired through ISS. And I’m sure my fourth will be also be through ISS!

What advice would you give to educators looking to recruit overseas for the first time?

​​I know it’s said over and over, but keeping an open mind is pivotal to a successful recruiting season. Recruiting for a specific country or even region, can lead to disappointment and limit your options. Of course, go for the schools and/or city of your dreams, but if it doesn’t work out, apply everywhere and anywhere! Interview with everyone because compatibility with administrators is key to a happy professional life. The administrators and teachers you work with overseas become a part of your family and community. First impressions are key! And that goes both ways. When interviewing and before accepting a position, do tons of research and ask LOTS of questions. Good luck!

Thanks for sharing your journey and advice Brenda. Our team is so excited for you to explore a new country and lead your makerspace in Brazil! 


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