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STORIES FROM THE FIELD

Connect to People From All Over the World

International Education: Stories From the Field
By Kindall Tyson
05-Jun-24
Connect to People From All Over the World


In this collection of stories, international educators share their unique experiences, insights, and perspectives. These accounts include how some began their international school career, things to consider if you’re curious about the international teaching landscape, what they’ve learned along the way, and the unparalleled journeys on this career path.

Join us as we delve into the stories of these inspiring educators and gain a deeper understanding of the transformative power of education across borders.

 

TRANSCRIPT

My name is Kendall Tyson I am a native of Texas. I'm a licensed psychotherapist supervisor. I'm a professional school counselor and I currently reside in Beijing, China. I am going to be the head of counseling for the high school at the International School of Beijing and one of the things that I love most about being a counselor in the international school-I've been doing this for a few years-is that I really get the opportunity to connect with people from all over the world. I get to listen to their stories, learn who they are in their cultural context, and identify all of the connections that we have. And in my current role, I am super passionate about being able to connect and collaborate with students, help them to identify their gifts and their strengths, help them through challenging moments in their life, and then provide-be like a facilitator for their growth as they go out into the world as a productive globally minded citizen.

As an international educator I believe that we have a great opportunity to really shift the narrative of the fact that this opportunity is open to anyone. We get the opportunity to, again, connect and collaborate with people from all over the globe, sharing perspectives. I feel like we have an opportunity to personify global mindedness- diversity, equity inclusion, loving support of one another. In my profession we call it “joining in with people.” So, I have an opportunity to join with people on their journey; to really be a safe space for people, to hold space for those who might be enduring challenges. There's a lot going on in the world right now and I feel like I am uniquely positioned as an international educator as a licensed therapist, a professional school counselor, educator above all to really serve as a conduit for care. There's a word I like to use, it’s constellation of care. I am grateful that I am just one little cog in the system of many people's lives that help them to really get settled in their new countries, build community, and to be able to live out the life of their dreams. And that's all through, you know, being able to take this big leap of choosing international education as a career opportunity. So, I am grateful for this opportunity, and I hope that I've been able to plant seeds of love and growth and acceptance that's going to help people to actualize and live their best absolute most aligned life.

How did you get into international education?

I've had many roles in education, one being an assistant principal, and I had an amazing teacher on my team and she and her husband made the decision to move abroad and they considered me, they thought of me enough, to reach out as I was in my counseling program getting my licensure and acquiring my credentials to see if I was ready to move abroad and I wasn't quite ready that year; so they connected with me that following year and I was in a place in my career where I was searching for more. I wanted to be able to make a greater impact, feel more aligned- and a job came open. I interviewed while they were on layover in Tanzania. That's how I got my first international job. I literally got the job on my mom's birthday of March the 7th so I feel like it was kismet. And I've been abroad since August 2018 and it has been one of the best opportunities for growth, for development- challenging but very worthwhile, yeah.

What is your podcast about?

I am- in my role as a licensed psychotherapist, mental health is the umbrella that I do everything under, and there was one day I was having a conversation with a friend, and we were talking about mental health and being an international educator and the joys and challenges that comes along with that. And I just had this idea at 3:00 in the morning I need to start a podcast. I love to talk- clearly- I'm a therapist. I love to listen and I like to be a conduit of sharing people's stories. So I started a podcast it's called The Black Expat Experience where I interview black individuals of the diaspora, be they expats, digital nomads, study abroad students, you know, frequent travelers around the globe. And we focus in, specifically, on their foray into living abroad and living internationally. I do feature a lot of international educators. It is it is such a niche community that I want to do my part to facilitate to grow. And one of the major aspects of the podcast is that we focus on mental health and individual's understanding of mental health, their cultural connect, how their mental health was impacted that made them decide to move. What is adjustment and caring for themselves holistically look like as they venture into these new countries, and what does it look like to connect to community. How does community support aid in adjustment and loneliness? Mental health is definitely the undergirding foundation of the podcast but it's honestly a conversation amongst two people that have a commonality; and it helps to widen the aperture for those who are listening to recognize that, you know, if I can see someone taking this, you know, big risk that has a great reward then maybe that's something that I could do for myself. You know, I believe strongly in the term or the phrase representation matters, and I know that if we're able to envision others and see others in a role that maybe we've not known that we have the opportunity to be in, it makes it that much easier when we can visualize it- to possibly lay the ground work or set some goals and actualize that for ourselves. So, I call myself a professional storyteller and we focus on mental health and expat living.

 

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Kindall C. Tyson is the lead high school counselor at the International School of Beijing. She has completed her sixth year as an international school counselor, having spent two impactful years at her current school and 16 years in education in the United States of America and in China. She has had several roles during her years in education; in addition to being a former English teacher, she is also a licensed Psychotherapist, an LPC Supervisor, and the CEO of her international therapy and consulting practice - Aspire Counseling & Wellness Center. She also founded the Black Expat Experience live show and podcast. Beginning her expat journey in Beijing planted seeds of grit, self-awareness, and creativity within her and cultivated the foundation for continued success in international education and community building.




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