Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So... Why North Carolina??

Typically, when I tell others about my move, one of the first questions they ask is "Why North Carolina?"

Here's the condensed answer.

I'm working through an organization called the Visiting International Faculty (VIF, for short). It's a cultural exchange program that places international teachers in US schools, with the hopes of exposing American students to nationalities and cultures other than the ones they are most familiar with. The program has been running for over twenty years, and has successfully matched teachers in schools around the southeastern US with positive results. Teachers can stay between one and three years, and they encourage teachers to commit at least two years for the full benefit of the program. For more information (if you're interested), check out their website at http://www.vifprogram.com/.

I had come across advertisements and notations about VIF every now and then for a few months, and each time I lingered a little longer. When I eventually visited the website, I saw that there was an online application form teachers could fill out. Since I was feeling rather restless, I decided to fill it out. That was in November. By the end of the month, I'd already had an interview and was moving forward into the third stage of the application process.

I received confirmation back in February that I had been accepted into the program. However, with the change in the economic status, advisors informed me that the wait to get a placement at a school could take a little longer than usual as school districts reviewed and reworked their tight budgets. The folks I spoke to at VIF were so helpful, reassuring and optimistic that they'd be able to find me something. Science and Math teachers (my two core subjects) are at a premium in the US, and so I had a bit of an upper edge over other candidates.

In April I was contacted for an interview with Clinton High School, in Clinton North Carolina. Out of all the states I am qualified to teach in, North Carolina was my first choice. I can't really explain why. I had a telephone interview one morning, and the next day I had notice that they were offering me the job!

So there you go. It's been a busy, anxious few months since then as I prepare to leave this space for awhile and venture into unchartered territory (well, unchartered for me). I continue to remain optimistic that this opportunity will allow me the change to challenge myself professionally and personally. I'm looking at this as a learning experience, with the chance to grow and explore who I am as a teacher and as a person. Wish me luck!


Anonymous said...

Neato! Good to know the history behind NC (though I still think it's because of Dawson's Creek...).

MS said...

LOL... Well... It's a perk?