RICHARD WORT comments on 2 years teaching in Mexico
What has been your experience of teaching abroad? The highs and lows?
The highs have been working in a very different culture and becoming part it. The IGCSE syllabus I was teaching was similar to what I taught in the UK so from the teaching aspect it wasn't so different, but I became familiar with the IB course which was very good experience. Working with the Mexican students and the relationship you develop is very different from the one I experienced working in London. The students are all very interested in you, why you are in Mexico, what you like etc. so that’s all very nice.
What have you enjoyed the most about your new school?
Defiantly the students, they really appreciate you being there.
What cultural differences surprised you the most?
Mexicans are very non-confrontational which creates a really calm atmosphere, so no big confrontations with pupils.
Did you engage in any cultural learning such as learning the language or any customs?
Yes, the Mexican teachers were very welcoming and I was invited to many Mexican events, these included events around people’s houses, supporting and watching the local football team, playing in a local football team and of course following the “Lucha Libre” which is strictly a local’s only event. My Spanish remains basic but adequate to get by, although many international teachers speak excellent Spanish.
What was your new home like? The city? The School? The students and colleagues?
As mentioned students and local staff were all very friendly. I also made some good friends with the overseas teachers; you have a lot to talk about, sharing similar experiences.
What did you do in your weekends/ spare time?
Lots of travelling around Mexico, but also trips into South America during the school holidays. If I was staying in the City, I would play/watch football; I was playing drums in a band, socializing, eating, lucha libre or reading the Lonely planet to check out what to see next.
Did you imagine your new school and country to be as it was?
The school was much very nice, a group of nice people in a fantastic setting (close to a national park, overseeing a volcano). The City was massive, I thought London was busy, but it certainly had its own charms.
What advice would you offer new teachers about to start an international teaching post?
Research the country and school you are applying for and for me it worked out just fine!