Matthew Davis: Following his dreams to Europe
Hello Matthew! Please introduce yourself and tell us why you wanted to teach overseas. Was there a specific call that led you to this career?
I have always enjoyed visiting new places. When I was in college, I did not take the opportunity to study abroad, one of my few regrets I’ve had thus far. After saving up some money, my wife and I went to Europe, and I was hooked. While we were there, we would see schools, and I often wondered if there was a way to teach abroad. I did some research, signed up for ISS, and the rest is history!
When you think about your new school, what are you most excited about? How did you know when you found the right fit?
What excites me the most about Albanian College Tirana is the philosophy, the PYP curriculum, and listening to educators within the school talking about it. The school’s ideas for teaching children match my own, and I cannot wait to get started! I knew I found the right fit because every time I thought about it, I got more excited. Additionally, I found myself comparing every other school to ACT. That alone told me that ACT was the right fit.
What research did you do before accepting your job?
I researched the country of Albania to learn a little about it, historically as well as currently. I researched what PYP curriculum is, and found pictures online to get a visualization of the school. Also, I found people near me who are of Albanian descent who were able to give me additional information. Lastly, I reached out to some teachers within the school to hear their testimonial. The feedback was positive, and it led me to believe that this is a good community that I couldn’t wait to join!
What advice would you give to educators looking to recruit overseas for the first time?
I would advise offering online interviews via skype or other video chat services. The fairs can give you a lot of candidates to consider, but offering an online interview can give more depth ahead of time to see if the candidate meets your needs and is the right fit. Additionally, it can streamline the process, saving time and money for all if the right fit is found.
What led you to sign up with a service like ISS, and how has your experience been?
Initially, I was hesitant to sign up for ISS because of the cost, but after speaking to my principal who had overseas teaching experience, he mentioned how ISS connects you to some of the best schools around the world. Because of that advice, I signed up with ISS, connected with Albanian College Tirana, and now I am on my way to accomplishing a professional goal of teaching overseas. My experience has been wonderful, and I love the structure and analytics that ISS offers. I was able to specify where I wanted to go, and I was able to see how many people were looking at my resume. I would recommend ISS to anyone wanting an overseas teaching experience!
Congratulates you on your new position, Matthew! All the best to you and your wife as you start your new adventure. We look forward to hearing more stories from your classroom in Albania!
Ready to launch your own teach abroad story?