As the school year is ending, more and more educators are making decisions regarding their path for the upcoming scholastic year. Should they switch schools? Should they move into a different position? Should they leave the classroom and join an administrative team?
Slowly, via social media, teachers are sharing their news of their upcoming changes. Some are excited, some are nervous, some are devastated (if it was a non-voluntary change or cut).
I am excited to be able to broaden my horizon and move on to a new country, culture, school and challenge. I accepted the position of Academic Technology Coordinator at the Graded School, the American school of São Paulo, Brazil. My role will be similar to my current one, focusing on Graded’s Middle School . I was fortunate to have visited the school, when they hosted the Innovate Conference in January, and have met many of my new colleagues and administrators.
So, if you are reading this and your mind is already turning regarding the global connections, collaboration and possibilities with a school in South America….keep the Graded school and me in mind for your upcoming global collaboration plans.
The move to Brazil will take place in July…two months from now… The school is doing an excellent job for incoming faculty, by providing information about Brazil, the city, help with Visa procedures and a platform to connect (a Ning) with administration and faculty already at the school.
On a personal level, I have started:
- reading as many books about São Paulo and Brazil as I can get my hands on.
- using apps (Duolingo, Accela Study) to help me learn Portuguese (Having the app readily available on my phone and iPad allows me to practice regularly and frequently and in small chunks).
- listening to vidcast and podcasts to learn about language and culture
- pinning to my new Pinterest Board about Brazil
- making a bucket list of new places to see
- making a list of essentials we will need to bring on our move
- taking inventory of the [American] things we can live without
Two months will go by in a flash. Many of my current colleagues at the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School, have told me, they will miss working with me (and I will miss working with them). I remind them though that our collaboration and being colleagues does not have to end with my move. It will be an authentic assessment if my work with them over the past few years has been successful. If we indeed will be able to fluently “code switch” between being physical colleagues, who see each other daily face2face, to becoming virtual colleagues, dependent on our digital literacy to work with tools at our disposal that enable learning and collaboration across time and geographic distances.