How did you connect with this job
opportunity? Recruiters from Black Forest Academy came to
visit Grove City my senior year. I pursued various opportunities (RA
positions, teaching positions) at BFA, but found that they did not have
a need for my gifts at that time. When applying to work at BFA I also
had to apply for a mission’s agency. TeachBeyond, my selected mission’s
agency, connected me with various schools across the world that could
use the gifts I had to offer. One of these recommended schools was the
Christian International School of Prague (CISP).
What attracted you to this
The BFA recruiters sparked my interest by talking to me about third
culture kids and the opportunities I would have to invest in their
lives. A third culture kid (TCK) is a child who accompanies their parents into
a new culture. They grow up under their parent’s cultural expectations
at home, while still living in an entirely different culture. As a
young girl my family moved several times. Although we were moving within
the United States, each region that I lived in had different cultural
expectations. Every move left me a little more confused about who I was
and where my home was. Yet, as I grew older I came to understand that
these moves also allowed me new opportunities to grow and learn. I feel
as though moving several times has allowed me to understand a little
more about the struggles of a TCK.
What are the most gratifying
aspects of your job?
I absolutely love working with third culture kids. Their appreciation
for other cultures and the differences in people are incredible to me.
They understand so much more about how big the world is than I did at
Working at an international school has also allowed me to remind these
kids that though their world is constantly changing, they can put their
trust in a consistent heavenly home by faith in Christ. Even when
everything else is transient, He remains the same.
What has been/was your biggest
challenge as a first-year teacher?
I was not nervous about classroom management when I first walked into my
middle school classrooms. I should have been. Once I realized how large
of a problem classroom management was (even in a small classroom), I
knew I needed to consider action plans. As I thoughtfully considered the
issues, I realized that problems developed when I wasn’t organized
enough. I needed to take organization to a whole new level to regain the
respect of my classroom. Thorough organization has made a huge
How did your time at GCC prepare
you for the teaching field?
You can tell a soldier all about war, but he won’t really understand the
importance of all of his lessons until he’s in a battle. In the same
way, the importance of all of the little lessons connect when you’re in
the classroom. Learning about classroom management or learning
disabilities doesn’t resonate with you until you’re managing your own
classroom. GCC professors do a great job of equipping students with the
tools to be strong teachers. They aren’t making teachers: they’re
resourcing teachers. I believe that the professors at GCC did an
excellent job of encouraging me to think through my teaching goals,
expectations, and strategies. They taught me to reflect on my
teaching—they reminded me that there is always room for improvement.
would you give to a current pre-service teacher in order to better prepare
for his or her future
Get to know your students on a personal level. You aren’t their friend,
but you can be a respected mentor. Just today a student told me that she
pays best attention when she knows her teachers care about who she
is. When you let your students know you care, they know their thoughts
are valued, no matter what is being studied. (Note: Showing your
students that you care about them takes time. It means getting involved
in their activities, asking them questions and listening for answers, or
writing meaningful notes, and so much more.)
What job search tips would you
give to GCC students?
Don’t stress out. Relax, apply for the positions that interest you, and
allow doors to open and close. Not everyone gets their dream teaching
position their first year out of school (or even knows what their dream
teaching position would look like) and that is okay. Our God is
faithful, and he will put you where you can best serve Him for this
What are the challenges and
rewards of teaching in another culture?
There are many days when I feel as though my students are wiser than I
am. Most of my students speak at least 2 languages fluently, and some
speak 3-4 languages. They are talented musicians, artists, and creative
thinkers, and their biblical insight always astonishes me. I love
working with such hardworking and passionate students! Many of my
students have lived in several different countries, and have attended
many different schools. The variety of schooling backgrounds makes for a
wide range of levels and background information amongst my classes. This
can make lesson planning extremely difficult. Yet, the rewards always
surpass the challenges!
What are the challenges and
rewards of living in another culture?
Attempting to learn the Czech language while teaching has been extremely
difficult. Yet, most people in Prague speak some English, making this a
little less urgent. Every night I look out my bedroom window and see
Prague Castle (Prasky Hrad) in the distance. I am reminded of the
physical beauty and the rich history of this city. I’ve learned so much
about European history and world cultures in the past year. I’m so
thankful for these growth opportunities! Another struggle has been
connecting and building relationships with Czechs. I have to remind
myself that within my lifetime the Czech Republic was a communist
country. The Czech people have been through so much that I cannot begin
to understand. My hope is that I will continue to grow in love for these
people and to put that love into action.