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Welcome to Your New School

By Lindsay Manzella
05-Apr-12
Welcome to Your New School


Lindsay Manzella shares her story about how she chose to move from NYC to Beirut and teach in an international school.
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Yesterday was New Teacher Orientation at my new school. Wow! is pretty much all I have to say. We’re not in NYC public schools anymore, Toto!
We started the morning with an introduction from the HR director. She said that this morning she was reminded of herself being a new hire four years ago and all the excitement she felt to be working at this school. Then a few months later the excitement and newness started to fade and she wondered where it went. Then she asked herself where else she would want to work other than here and her answer was nowhere else. The room of teachers and administration new and old cheered. (Then she cracked a joke about asking the same thing about her husband: Who else would I want to be married to? And the answer was always the same: (dramatic pause) George Clooney.
Next the president got up and spoke about all the schools he had worked at in the world and how this was the best school in the world. OK, he might be a bit biased, but still, can you imagine working at a school that could even proclaim to be the best in the world? Then, person after person got up and while introducing themselves gushed about how much they love the school and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. It was pretty amazing.
We had tours of the school campus which is gorgeous. My friend’s fifth grade classroom has a wall of windows where you see nothing but the sparkling blue sea! (I’m a tad jealous I must say!) After the tour we took a bus ride up to the satellite campus in the mountains which has an even more gorgeous view of Beirut and the sea. After a presentation from the HR department we had a catered lunch of Lebanese food before heading back down to Beirut.
Beautiful campus aside I was just struck by the excitement of all of the staff that we met. The president said when he was speaking, “I have complete confidence and faith in each and every one of you. You’ve all been brought here to work at the best school because you are the best.” And you really felt that he meant it. What a breath of fresh air coming from NYC where as a teacher you feel as if you aren’t trusted to do anything without being micro-managed.
Today the foreign-hire teachers (there are eight of us) had a meeting with the president where he talked about life in Lebanon: politics, religion, emergencies, personal safety, and basically anything we needed in getting adjusted to life in a new country. He made us feel really secure in knowing if anything dramatic were to happen in the country we would be taken care of. He was also on top of any sort of requests that we had. No wireless in your apartments? We’re on it. Furniture in some of the apartments is old and dingy? We will replace it by the end of next week. The shipping company didn’t do a professional job? Thanks for alerting us, we’ll get a new one. Honestly I can’t imagine anyone being more responsive. After our meeting we were taken out to lunch by the president and his wife and we all just chatted and got to know each other better.
Needless to say I am loving my school so far and feeling a little more than spoiled. Being an international school teacher definitely has its perks!
Other articles in Lindsay's Story:
<<Heading Into the Unknown
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Blog post titled "Welcome to Your New School" posted on September 8, 2010
Follow Lindsay and learn more about her story of getting a job in an international school: http://thepresentperfect.wordpress.com/2010/08/20/hello-world/




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Comments

08/07/2012 - Lindsay
Thanks Neena!
08/05/2012 - Neena
Hi Lindsay,

Reading your articles was indeed an inspiring experience. I appreciate your love for the Mediterannean. Wishing you success at every step.
05/30/2012 - Lindsay
Hi Tony,
Yes, I am American.

Lindsay
05/24/2012 - Brittany
Hi Tony, I will let Lindsay speak for herself but wanted to jump in on the TIE question. TIE is a service for teachers and administrators of any nationality that are looking for a job in an international school. International schools are looking for qualified teachers from anywhere in the world that can teach their subject in English. We are happy to answer any of your questions if you are investigating this exciting possibility!
tie@tieonline.com
Thanks,
Brittany
05/24/2012 - Tony
Hello Lindsay. It's nice reading ur blog. Are you an American? Is TIE for American teachers only?