Extracurricular Fun SOL#9

Slice of life

One thing about teaching internationally that I didn’t know while I was still working on my masters is that international teachers are frequently required to host after school activities. Some schools pay you for hosting them outright (especially for sports), other schools will give you a bonus, and some others just include it as a duty without pay.

I’ve always been lucky to be able to lead something I genuinely find interesting such as Latin Dance Club, Scrapbooking Club, Stretching and Fitness Club, and even a Geography Club.  These are great because I genuinely love doing these activities so I don’t mind staying the extra hour or so.  They are also helpful for students and families who are looking for ways to involve their students in using English outside of the classroom or just having something to do besides homework once school is out for the day.

Another cool thing about international schools is that they organize events for teachers.  It is more difficult in the past couple of years in Venezuela because we can’t have night time events, but today is a perfect example of a fun activity the school organizes for the teachers: a Faculty Auction.  Even though it is on campus, it is fun to be able to hang out with the whole faculty and NOT discuss school work.

So far the best faculty even was at the beginning of the year when the school organized a trip to Cayo Sombrero (in Morrocoy).  This is my favorite island after many days spent exploring other options, but new teachers might not know about the awesomeness that is Cayo Sombrero and a free trip to Paradise never hurts either.  I love my school!

Does your school require you to host after school activities? Does your school create fun events for teachers too?


14 responses to “Extracurricular Fun SOL#9

  1. Loved this post and your “why I stay” post, too 🙂 Can you tell me if you feel strongly one way or the other about having a car? We’ll be in a “good” neighborhood in Caracas and a little cash poor starting out…


  2. For me it was a no brainer because my school offered an interest free car loan, there are not many taxis in Valencia, and it was about a 20 minute walk on a busy street to get to work. However, traffic is really horrible in Caracas. If I were you I would asses what your commute would be like and see what the taxi situation is like for people at your school.


  3. Clara will you be teaching at the Pretoria international school or working for a company in the area?

    In my experience it seems like the hardest group to host after school activities for are the kinder and first grade kids. I imagine that teachers of those grades are exhausted by the time school is out and that teachers who don’t normally work with those grades just have no idea what to do with them. I like to host activities for 3-5 graders (or a really mature second grader).


  4. That sounds incredible!! I would like to teach abroad but I don’t know how long I’d be able to stay and work. I feel like I would fall in love with the country and not be able to bare coming back! I am so glad I stumbled onto your blog today. Can’t wait to read more about your adventures!

    We host luncheons, but it’s not really a requirement. Our staff is so big though, it’s hard to organize too many people into any one event.


    • Some contracts are only for one year, but most are for two years. It isn’t too hard to make a two year commitment and then you can see how you like it. Some schools in the states will even let you have a “sabbatical” and some international schools will agree to a one year contract for that purpose. Go for it!

      It is hard to organize events for the full staff at many schools, but they are so fun once you get them going!


  5. Oh I am so jealous. What a wonderful addition to any staff–I love things like this that fall under the umbrella of “this is just what we do.” It must foster such better relationships among staff members–to be able to not only be together (and not talk shop) but to also be together in new/different/fun situations. Very very jealous.


    • Another time, someone at school organized a trip to Colonia Tovar (a German town outside of Caracas, Venezuela). Haha, in China the teachers organized and “Apartment Crawl” where we visited each others’ apartments…. As an international teacher we are co-workers and some of us become like family because our families are in other countries. I love my life.


      • You just made me remember when I lived and worked in Toronto (in the early 90s) and someone at work (the Symphony) organized a similar apartment crawl. It was such a culturally diverse group–that experience was good for me.


      • Yes, it was so much fun! I would like to do something similar with my co-workers now, but it isn’t as safe at night as it is in China. Maybe we should just start earlier?!


  6. I love these peeks into your life In Venezuela. We just had a fundraiser dinner last weekend which many of us helped to put on. It wasn’t required, but it waas so much fun to be a part of. The activities you’ve been part of sound like fun. I’d like to be there and be part of it!


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