What position do you hold at Teach Away? What has been your career path so far?
Adrian: I'm a Senior Program Coordinator with Teach Away. Initially, I began with the company as a Placement Coordinator, helping teachers secure the right placement overseas for their needs, and the needs of our partners abroad. Since then, I've progressed through the ranks to manage entire programs in various countries. My role is to ensure that teachers and educational institutions are best matched to each other, and also to make sure that the teams, who manage a teacher's account, are doing all they can for that educator. Essentially, we're like a dating agency connecting schools and teachers, and I'm there to make sure our pairings work.
Did you teach abroad? If so, where and what inspired you to go?
Adrian: I've taught abroad in a couple of countries. My initial foray was only a month-long contract, just so I could get a taste of what it's all about. After loving the experience, I decided to commit to a year-long contract in another country, which actually ballooned into a three year adventure.
My inspiration for doing all this was the lack of travel I had earlier in my life. Seeing pictures and hearing stories of adventure from friends just made me want to give it a shot myself. I don't regret making the decision. Now, I'm the one inspiring others to take the leap.
What does the future hold for Teach Away - any exciting new programs to share?
Adrian: Teach Away has always been growing rapidly and developing new programs. We always have new positions at different levels popping up all over the world - from volunteer ESL teaching jobs, to curriculum assessment administrative positions. One day, you may see a position available in Moscow, and the next day, another new opportunity in Santiago becomes available.
Due to this rapid growth, and the need for qualified instructors abroad, we've developed a TEFL course with the University of Toronto to better prepare our educators for their time abroad. What lies in store further down the road? The sky's the limit at this point.
What about the future of the teach abroad industry? How do you think international education will change over the next 10 years?
Adrian: The shift to online education is definitely well underway - especially at the tertiary level. With this, the teach abroad industry will likely also shift to more online-focused education - at least in the ESL realm. However, for countries looking to overhaul entire educational regimes, in-person education will still be key. So, over the next 10 years, we may see a greater shift to incorporate more technology in the classroom that allows a better integration of in-person with online education. We will still need that live interaction for the online involvement to flow smoothly.
Which teach abroad destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?
Adrian: This is a difficult question as it depends on the what a teacher is looking to experience. No destination can be given a clearcut underrated or overrated judgement. It really all comes down to what an educator is looking for. Are they looking to make a change and be a part of a large-scale educational reform, or simply just a teaching adventure in a new environment? In the end, we want to make sure the educator makes a sound informed decision after determining their needs. We feel that all destinations are underrated as they all offer something unique to discover for any educator.