Got it!
We use cookies to enhance your experience. By continuing to visit this site you agree to our use of cookies. More info

Already a subscriber or advertiser? Enter your login information here

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

FREE! Sign up for the TIE newsletter and never miss out on international school news, headlines, resources and best-practices from around the world!

19 June 2020 | Juneteenth & the June Issue
04 June 2020 | Black Lives Matter
22 May 2020 | Every Voice Counts
23 April 2020 | Believe in Books

  Enter your email below to sign up:

Ready to subscribe and get all the features TIE has to offer? Click here >>


INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL APPOINTMENTS

You are here: Home > Online Articles > Sweet to Be Home

FEATURED ARTICLES

SEARCH

Sweet to Be Home

By Allison Poirot

12/19/2019

Sweet to Be Home
Five months ago, my mother died, and I broke off my engagement with my fiancé. About a month later, I decided to quit international teaching and move back to the United States. At the time, my Head of School asked me, “Do you really want to do this?” He cited some famous psych study that lists the most stressful things a person can experience, short of physical violence, and puts “death of a family member” at the top, followed closely by “change in relationship status” and “move.”

I said yes.

Yes, living abroad is an adventure. Yes, I feel incredibly privileged and thrilled to have had this experience, in two countries and two regions of the world, over the past six years. Yes, it’s financially very lucrative compared with public or private school teaching at home in the States (um, my school pays my rent, for starters–eat that, Park Slope). Yes, I’ve seen wonders of the world (Jersualem! Cairo! Petra! Mountains and deserts in South America!) and made amazing friends and had incredible conversations, and learned much about myself and my own culture in the process.

But I haven’t been “home.” Yes, I’ve visited twice a year for six years, but those short tours no longer suffice.

I am tired of living a temporary existence. At age 38, as my father astutely observed, I am interested in finally “settling down.” I want to both build and to deepen. I have 10- and 15-year-old friendships in New England that I want to cultivate. I have interests in teaching and history and psychology and the arts that I want to explore. Instead of running away from the political mess that is the United States right now, I want to re-engage and see how I can play a small role in highlighting the positive, encouraging the youth, and doing annoying performance art in front of the White House as often as I can stand it.

I just don’t think it’s very viable to do all that while living overseas. Schools overseas too often overlook pedagogy in favor of pedigree (some schools in the U.S. do this also). And expats overseas often seek short-term pleasures instead of long-term lives.

We live outside our normal society, so we outfit ourselves with different morals. We aren’t fully a part of the place where we live, so we hold ourselves apart. This is what I want to get away from. I want to have roots.

I learned from my disabled mother that taking responsibility isn’t a bad thing, despite what the zeitgeist says. Even though I did sometimes resent the fact that I was her primary caregiver for the better part of ten years, over that time, I grew to accept it. I didn’t expect her to remember my friends’ names, but I still told her about them. I knew she wouldn’t stay awake for the new Muppet movie, but I took her anyway. I bought her clothes and scheduled her appointments and plucked her chin hairs and played Scrabble. It doesn’t matter if I thought some of it was boring. This is what life is.

I don’t need to always be seeking the highest mountain in South America or the most remote and secluded beach in Brazil. I want to also be content with the view of the trees at a local park and the taste of a toasted bagel with butter from a close-by cafe.

My adventures will be eavesdropping on passers-by and chatting with taxi drivers about the weather, finding a lecture series at a nearby bookstore, going to hear live music in a bar the size of a closet, bringing a friend ingredients for soup and making it at her house, inventing new words with her one-year-old child.

I can still enjoy new and fast and loud, but I resolve to also relish the small, and slow, and quiet, and sweet.

Allison Poirot blogs for TIE.




Please fill out the form below if you would like to post a comment on this article:

Nickname (this will appear with your comments)
Email
Comments


Comments

There are currently no comments posted. Please post one via the form above.

MORE FROM FEATURED ARTICLES
Pam Mundy, ACS International Schools board trustee and Early Childhood education specialist, advocat ..more
As an educator, my blood boils when I see job specifications that strongly state “all applicants exc ..more
The new Life-Centered Education program at ISK is designed to serve students who have a diagnosed in ..more
COLLEGE COUNSELING WITH MARTIN WALSH
COVID19
Locked Out of Laos
By Betsy Grabb Suits
18-Jun-20
DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION
Working at the Blackest School in Dubai
By Susana Thomas
18-Jun-20
GORDON ELDRIDGE: LESSONS IN LEARNING
What Do We Know About Self-Assessment?
By Gordon Eldridge, TIE Columnist
26-Mar-20
Can We Overcome “My Side Bias” in the Classroom?
By Gordon Eldridge, TIE Columnist
19-Dec-19
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
To Confront Inequality, You Must First Understand It
By Bettina L. Love, University of Georgia
06-May-20
THE MARSHALL MEMO
Psychological Factors That Perpetuate Racism and Can Be Changed
By Kim Marshall, TIE columnist
18-Jun-20
Emotionally Intelligent Leadership in a Changing World
By Kim Marshall, TIE columnist
04-Jun-20
THE PRINCIPALS' TRAINING CENTER
The Top Three Things Teacher Leaders Should be Doing to Lead Remotely
By Bambi Betts & Kristen MacConnell
27-Jun-20
Why We Did Not Go Virtual
By Bambi Betts, Director, Principals’ Training Center
22-May-20