I did not go to London for a "Girls Trip." I certainly did not go to film a "Finding Love Overseas" show as my students suspected. I went to attend the Council of International Schools job fair.
I started my academic career at the age of two in Marseille, France. At age three, I went to school in Freiburg, Germany. I received my first report card in Tikkurila, Finland.
When we moved to the Atlanta area in 1994, my dad was given a 3 year contract. I had no idea that I would still be here 20 years later.
Atlanta has been an exceptional home, and it is also where I started my career as an educator. As I started year 7 at a wonderful school, I realized I needed something different for me. I signed up for the job fair after I met a girl from Colorado now teaching in Switzerland. She sat right next to me on my flight home from visiting my friends in Switzerland. During my trip, I also got to see my old friend from Germany and his friends from various parts of Europe. I was reminded of the ache that I have had to expand my horizons.
I went to the job fair with a very open mind. I had ruled out moving to Finland or another familiar place. I was looking for personal growth as much as professional. I did promise my administration that I would not leave simply to leave. I have loved working at my school, and if I was to leave, it would only be for an opportunity that would grow me professionally.
The weekend was an intense rollercoaster of emotions. I met many other teachers like myself, and I had the opportunity to learn about several incredible schools all over the world. I consulted with advisors and ultimately made a decision that no one, including myself expected.
I accepted a position at Qatar Academy. I am moving to Doha, Qatar this August.
(Images from http://www.qatartourism.gov.qa/)
The job fair coincided with BETT - a Technology Learning event. This meant that the heads of the technology for the school were in London. I interviewed for a TIF (Technology Integration Facilitator) position. When I was offered the position, I accepted without hesitation. No, I did not need to think about it. I couldn't even believe that a job such as this existed.
So what will I be doing? I join the 21st Century Learning Team for the primary school. I will work on a team with 4 other TIFs to help incorporate transformational technology use in classrooms. I won't teach a computer lab, rather I will work with individual classes and teachers to plan for technology use with a purpose. The role will allow me the opportunity to work with lots of different age levels and teachers.
I signed on for a two year contract, but please don't mark your calendars for 2016 yet. We all know what happened in 1994 when I promised my best friend that I would return to Finland in 3 years.
(This was officially announced via my grad school blog. Read the end of the most recent post to see why! I love technology and the connections it allows me to make!)
I will be using this blog to continue to share my experiences. For twitter followers, I will be using #KohtalaInQatar to send updates, too!
Based in Doha currently, I am a technology-advocating learning junkie.