I have now spent 38 years as a Third-Culture Kid and adult. My family moved to the Philippines when I was only a year old, and seventeen years later I graduated in 1983 from the Karachi American School in Pakistan. After seven years of university in the US I began my teaching career at the American Community School in Addis Ababa. There I met my beautiful wife Michelle who began her career as an elementary school teacher and is currently the school librarian at the International School Yangon, Myanmar. It was my experience as a middle school social studies and IB TOK teacher in Addis that helped me realize my calling in international education.
After Addis, Michelle and I spent a year at the American International School in Cairo before I was accepted into University of New Mexico’s Internship Licensure Program and spent a year teaching Grade 6 in the Santa Fe public school district.
The following year Michelle and I found ourselves at the Rabat American School where I taught Grade 5 for two years until I moved into the position of the Moroccan Studies Coordinator. I learned to speak Arabic and was responsible for introducing grade K-8 to various aspects of Moroccan culture. I also had the good fortune to plan trips for students in grades 4-9 around Morocco for extended periods. It was at RAS that I began to develop my understanding of how technology can play an important role in student learning. Morocco was also a very special place for Michelle and I as our two daughters Tsahai and Sophia were born there.
After a year off in Canada to introduce our young daughters to their home culture, my dream to return to Pakistan came true when Michelle and I returned to teach at the International School of Islamabad. A turbulent year ensued as a result of the 9/11 attacks, and after several evacuations Michelle and I found ourselves once again at home in Canada. During this time Michelle worked with AISJ and the US State Department to coordinate and implement the NESA Virtual Schools program.
The following year we were teaching at the American International School of Johannesburg. Here I taught Grade 4 and found this period to be one of intense professional growth. Through a variety of initiatives by AISJ including Looking for Learning by Fieldworks Education and Cognitive Coaching with Bill and Ochan Powell, AISJ provided incredible opportunities to develop as an educator. It was at AISJ under Rob Ambrogi’s leadership that I learned about the importance of having a clear, student centered vision in education.
After another year at our home in beautiful British Columbia where Michelle worked with the US State Department to coordinate and implement the AISA Virtual Schools in Africa program, Michelle and I were off to the exotic country of Burma (Myanmar) to teach at the International School of Yangon. Here I have worked as the Grade 6 language arts/social studies teacher and have developed my passion for integrating technology into student learning. In spite of severe internet restrictions and unpredictable bandwidth in Burma, I have persisted in bringing 21st Century skills to my students through a variety of creative initiatives with Web 2.o tools. During this past year I have designed and implement a 1:1 iPad/iPod Touch program in Grade 6 where our students are using these devices to communicate, collaborate, and create in all core subjects.
As an educator, my passion for teaching stems from my desire to build nurturing relationships with my students, to inspire a love a learning in each of them, and to teach my students how to learn so that they may be responsible for creating meaningful and successful life lives for themselves.