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RiKD    United States. Jun 18 2017 20:41. Posts 3911
I would say all of my blogs I just have some thoughts on my mind and get them down on paper. Formulate them if I can. PuertoRican suggested I add pictures to my blog. So, I am going to do a blog of pictures. I don't take a lot of pictures but here are some.

This is Syd the Kid (Sydney) on my bed. I write a lot about The Kid and my bed. I love my bed and spend too much time in it. Syd the Kid does to. He is my friend and companion. A great part of my day is taking long walks on the beach with him and throwing toys into the water for him to retrieve.



Next are the cats. Seb the Reb (Sebastion) is the black and white one and Pee Kee (Pico) is the grey and white one. These are the tricksters in the house. Seb is like a weird, ornery guy but he loves to sit in my lap. Pee Kee is just a wildman always searching for food and critters. Seb was the first one to catch a lizard though.



I really like this door. The architecture and charm in downtown Charleston is unrivaled except for maybe Paris and New Orleans. I am sure there are other small cities in Italy and many other places that I do not know about. The point is the old houses, the ironwork, the gardens, no skyscrapers or any building larger than a church it all adds up to a very charming and magical city. I don't go in to the city much because I am afraid of not being able to find parking and I am broke so I can't really afford any of the nice restaurants or nice things. The cream, the red, the black lion knocker and the lantern I just love this photo.



So, I can not afford to be downtown. I have not checked how close I could get if I had a decent job. It may be far North where it can start to get dangerous. I am all for not yet gentrified areas but I don't really want to hear gunshots either. I live with my parents now in a suburb about 25 min. from downtown Charleston. It is in one of those nice developments. My dad was an executive in the steel industry. It allows them to support me and allows me to be lazier than I probably should be. I mean I am writing a blog write now instead of looking for jobs. My conscience feels pretty bad about that and it definitely hurts my self esteem. So, I will wrap this up. My parents live about 15 min. away from the beach. It is a lovely place to take a walk, people watch, take in the sounds. I love the water. I love the beach community. I can give the dog a walk on the beach and stop off at any number of great restaurants in my swim trunks with the dog. Here is a pic from Edisto Island. It is about 45 min. south of Charleston.



So, this is a takeaway. I don't apply to as many jobs as I should but where are all the decent jobs? I guess I have been in contact with Wake Forest University about going to get my Masters in counseling. I don't know if I want to do mental health or substance abuse and addiction. I still have to take my GRE and get letters of recommendation and all of that. That should not be too big of a deal. In the meantime I am just existing in Mount Pleasant (suburb of Charleston). I have my dog, I have my cats, I have the wondrous city which I never attend, and I have the beach which I go just about daily.

There is this character (Kirrilov) in this book I am reading (Demons) whose solution to the fear of death is to kill himself. Not only that he is open to taking the blame for crimes by writing a letter before he does it. That is just awesome. I love this book. Myself, I am just pretty ok with the fear of death. Most days it is repressed to a manageable level or not really a thought at all although it is always there simmering beneath the surface. It is what it is. It is fun for me to read about and talk about. After reading a book like "Denial of Death" it is hard to associate with people that are so strongly repressed, anchored, distracted. Don't tell me god is the solution. Please. We are not immortal. The name Picasso may be immortal but his consciousness is not. Even the paintings are quite fragile. Better than nothing. A whimper into nothingness. That could be what I have to show for all of this. No stoic death for me. A faint cry. A feeble plea. Grasping for something, anything. So, I better turn it around. I better be a hero! Without morality there is pain. Do I need Christ for morality? No. Why not get a job, get a god boss, get a god CEO, a god girlfriend and transcend? Because it is all a facade. But it works for some? No, no, no. I have to stand alone to some degree. It may be difficult but I have to do it. I just wish there were somewhere around here I could get painting lessons! (transcendence, immortality through works of art is what I crave. Even if I fall short it will be a worthwhile experience).

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 Last edit: 19/06/2017 00:12

PuertoRican   United States. Jun 18 2017 20:55. Posts 10303

None of your pictures are showing up in your post because they aren't uploaded to a picture website. Instead, the links in your post go directly to your personal email account (Gmail).

Rekrul is a newb 

Loco   Canada. Jun 18 2017 23:37. Posts 18529


  On June 18 2017 19:55 PuertoRican wrote:
None of your pictures are showing up in your post because they aren't uploaded to a picture website. Instead, the links in your post go directly to your personal email account (Gmail).



I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. - Solomon 

RiKD    United States. Jun 19 2017 00:24. Posts 3911

Imgur was not working for me. Twitter will have to do. I only really post on there when I am manic and now when I wanted to share some pics. "Enter the Gadfly" is a pretty sweet introductory post. I don't think I really backed it up. Plus I have no friends on there. I go into my madness and call out to the abyss. Similar to what I do here but my mental health has been pretty good for a while.


RiKD    United States. Jun 19 2017 00:29. Posts 3911


  On June 18 2017 22:37 Loco wrote:
Show nested quote +






Hahaha. Truth.

That is me. It's why I don't go down the coding, machine learning, data science route that so many suggest. I was always decent enough at math but computers is a different story.


Loco   Canada. Jun 19 2017 18:56. Posts 18529

I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind. - Solomon 

RiKD    United States. Jun 19 2017 19:57. Posts 3911

Nice tinder intro. Does tinder even have intros? That would be a good profile picture. All the women that would swipe left before reading and not give such a well-toothed gentleman a chance. A real patriot!

I remember I got drunk and ended up making a tinder profile. I put up 1 picture out of 5. It was kind of half assed. I lived in Merrillville, IN about 45 min. outside of Chicago. Merrillville was such a non-happening city there was barely anyone on there. So, the only option was trying to match with the women from Chicago. When I was bored I would get drunk and find myself on tinder. I am pretty sure I got 0 matches. That is my experience with tinder.


bigredhoss   Cook Islands. Jun 19 2017 21:22. Posts 8514

Hey RikD, haven’t been logged on the site for a while because I got a new laptop and it didn’t have my password saved. But I’ve been reading your blogs about figuring out what to do with your life and can relate to a bunch of the issues. I know you mentioned that you’ve considered teaching. Have you considered teaching at an international school? Not like an ESL teacher but actually teaching at an IB school. Contracts are typically for 2 years and you’re free to hop around the globe to different schools once you finish a contract.

I also tried the coding thing for a bit and it wasn’t for me, but during the process I realized I enjoyed the math (before that I always did okay at math but was never the “math guy”). I also wanted to have freedom to travel and because of that briefly considered teaching ESL, but the low pay kept me away (backpacking, street food, cheap hostels, etc. can be a lot of fun, but sometimes I want to have nice things too). So I did some research on the requirements for teaching at IB schools and ended up enrolling in a 9-month intensive teacher certification course to get my license (quicker and cheaper than getting another degree) and took some Praxis tests for the subject area I want to teach (HS Math). If you wanted to teach a subject that you majored in, or a subject you’ve worked in for multiple years there are quicker certification paths.

Anyway, didn’t mean to make a pointless derail if you’ve already decided on the counselor path (although there’s counseling positions at international schools too, I think relative to the domestic market they’re not in as high of demand). I just know that I could relate to a bunch of your sentiments, and there seems to be surprisingly vague/little info about IS jobs. But once I looked into it, I realized they checked a lot of the boxes for me - lots of travel opportunities and freedom to choose where I want to work, ~2 month breaks each year, decent pay, if I end up hating teaching for some reason I can pivot into administration after a couple years. I don’t know if it’s something you’ve looked into already, but feel free to ask any questions if you're interested.

Truck-Crash LifeLast edit: 19/06/2017 21:23

RiKD    United States. Jun 20 2017 01:11. Posts 3911

Thanks man, that is intriguing. So, I could teach history at a school in Paris and then have 2 months free to travel? That sounds like a pretty good deal.


RiKD    United States. Jun 20 2017 01:32. Posts 3911

I don't know why I always bring up AA stuff on here but there is no one to talk to. I am still trying out new meetings here and it is tough. I end up at some God meetings and I just don't want to hear that for 50 min. Then I go to a free thinkers meeting today and they aren't very free thinking. I think I may just show up at my home group close to once a week and I guess if I have a hankering for more I will go. Guys, please don't be alcoholics and if you are figure something out that isn't AA. There are shroom therapies I wish I would have tried first. Oh well, I was certainly helped and am now in the position to help others so that is cool. I just was not helped by god and prayor and most people do not want to hear that. Being an outspoken atheist I risk being a leper so that kind of sucks. Well, not even outspoken. I realize most of my close friends my whole life have been godless. Maybe that is what I should be focusing on rather than just AA meetings. Meetup.com just seems so I don't know. Getting old sucks. So does being a drunk. I think the first drug I would do again is a glass of red wine or some weed. There is more justification for the weed because I mostly always enjoyed that. Oh well, I think it is some time for netflix and some dinner.


bigredhoss   Cook Islands. Jun 20 2017 03:14. Posts 8514


  On June 20 2017 00:11 RiKD wrote:
Thanks man, that is intriguing. So, I could teach history at a school in Paris and then have 2 months free to travel? That sounds like a pretty good deal.



That's the idea, although that particular scenario would take some doing. At the risk of oversimplifying a bunch of things:

The standard bar to entry for becoming an international teacher (IT) is a teaching license in one of US/UK/AUS/CAN/NZ + 2 years (post-license) experience. It's not a hard and fast rule but it's generally what recruiters look for, and it makes you competitive for decent schools.

International schools (ISs) are grouped into 3 tiers. They're informal rankings, there's not an official list somewhere or anything, and occasionally people will disagree about which tier a school belongs to, but everyone in international education (IE) uses the tier system to rate schools. This is where it gets messy, because a lot of the 3rd tier schools are "international" in name only. e.g. they'll have history, chemistry, art, etc. teachers, but the curriculum is just used as a vehicle for students to practice their english. So in a way they're like glorified ESL schools.

If someone has a degree, there's usually some 3rd tier school that will hire them even without experience. Usually it seems like they end up in some trainwreck of a school in China, but there's schools in southeast asia, latin america, and parts of eastern europe that will occasionally take someone with no experience (being white doesn't hurt). Generally people advise against this because the schools tend to have very little support for a new teacher and the leadership is usually a mess. But some people just want to get out of their home country ASAP, and from a bottom-line perspective, putting in 2 years at a crappy IS puts you in about the same place as two years at a domestic school (DS) in terms of marketability for moving into better schools. But you'll make better money and become a better teacher starting out at a DS.

When schools apply for accreditation from whatever accrediting organization (usually WASC), they're usually given some type of temporary provisional accreditation, which is why the schools can claim to be ISs - or more pertinently why teachers working there can list it as IT experience on their resume. Not all 3rd tier schools are terrible, but a lot of them are. On the other end of the spectrum, most of the US embassy-supported schools are examples of 1st-tier schools (although they aren't the only 1st-tier schools).

So one issue is the subject - history, literature, english, etc. - basically all humanities + soft sciences - are pretty saturated in IE. With license + 2 years experience you can be competitive for these subjects at decent (non-trainwreck) school, but you'd probably have to keep an open mind about location, and Western Europe is probably the most difficult region to break into. And Paris specifically is possibly the most difficult city in WE. So for most people, highly competitive subject + most in-demand location is a tough ask. It's doable but it's going to take some time - maybe 8-10 years exp as an IT + an MA and/or good networking. But if you widened your location to e.g. Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, etc. it might be more realistic in 4 years or so. There are exceptions though, and sometimes people get their ideal location sooner rather than later. Not often but it happens. Once you have a teaching license though, getting certification in another subject is just a matter of passing the relevant Praxis exams.

Most teachers new to IE (even those with the 2+ years DE experience) start out in a hardship location, although some of the places that are considered hardship are hilarious to me. ex. Thailand, Poland, Vietnam, China, pretty much all of South America, are considered hardship locations (in addition to actual hardship locations like Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc.), so pretty much anywhere that's not either a wealthy western nation or Japan/Singapore, and maybe a few others I'm forgetting. A general rule of thumb is that after each 2-year contract, teachers can either move up a tier or to a more "desirable" location, but again it's def not a hard and fast rule and sometimes it just comes down to luck.

Truck-Crash LifeLast edit: 20/06/2017 03:22

PuertoRican   United States. Jun 20 2017 05:31. Posts 10303

Looks good.

The pictures are a nice touch.

Rekrul is a newb 

RiKD    United States. Jun 21 2017 00:37. Posts 3911


  On June 20 2017 02:14 bigredhoss wrote:
Show nested quote +



That's the idea, although that particular scenario would take some doing. At the risk of oversimplifying a bunch of things:

The standard bar to entry for becoming an international teacher (IT) is a teaching license in one of US/UK/AUS/CAN/NZ + 2 years (post-license) experience. It's not a hard and fast rule but it's generally what recruiters look for, and it makes you competitive for decent schools.

International schools (ISs) are grouped into 3 tiers. They're informal rankings, there's not an official list somewhere or anything, and occasionally people will disagree about which tier a school belongs to, but everyone in international education (IE) uses the tier system to rate schools. This is where it gets messy, because a lot of the 3rd tier schools are "international" in name only. e.g. they'll have history, chemistry, art, etc. teachers, but the curriculum is just used as a vehicle for students to practice their english. So in a way they're like glorified ESL schools.

If someone has a degree, there's usually some 3rd tier school that will hire them even without experience. Usually it seems like they end up in some trainwreck of a school in China, but there's schools in southeast asia, latin america, and parts of eastern europe that will occasionally take someone with no experience (being white doesn't hurt). Generally people advise against this because the schools tend to have very little support for a new teacher and the leadership is usually a mess. But some people just want to get out of their home country ASAP, and from a bottom-line perspective, putting in 2 years at a crappy IS puts you in about the same place as two years at a domestic school (DS) in terms of marketability for moving into better schools. But you'll make better money and become a better teacher starting out at a DS.

When schools apply for accreditation from whatever accrediting organization (usually WASC), they're usually given some type of temporary provisional accreditation, which is why the schools can claim to be ISs - or more pertinently why teachers working there can list it as IT experience on their resume. Not all 3rd tier schools are terrible, but a lot of them are. On the other end of the spectrum, most of the US embassy-supported schools are examples of 1st-tier schools (although they aren't the only 1st-tier schools).

So one issue is the subject - history, literature, english, etc. - basically all humanities + soft sciences - are pretty saturated in IE. With license + 2 years experience you can be competitive for these subjects at decent (non-trainwreck) school, but you'd probably have to keep an open mind about location, and Western Europe is probably the most difficult region to break into. And Paris specifically is possibly the most difficult city in WE. So for most people, highly competitive subject + most in-demand location is a tough ask. It's doable but it's going to take some time - maybe 8-10 years exp as an IT + an MA and/or good networking. But if you widened your location to e.g. Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, etc. it might be more realistic in 4 years or so. There are exceptions though, and sometimes people get their ideal location sooner rather than later. Not often but it happens. Once you have a teaching license though, getting certification in another subject is just a matter of passing the relevant Praxis exams.

Most teachers new to IE (even those with the 2+ years DE experience) start out in a hardship location, although some of the places that are considered hardship are hilarious to me. ex. Thailand, Poland, Vietnam, China, pretty much all of South America, are considered hardship locations (in addition to actual hardship locations like Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc.), so pretty much anywhere that's not either a wealthy western nation or Japan/Singapore, and maybe a few others I'm forgetting. A general rule of thumb is that after each 2-year contract, teachers can either move up a tier or to a more "desirable" location, but again it's def not a hard and fast rule and sometimes it just comes down to luck.


I don't know if that life is for me anymore. I used to love traveling. You have the 1-2 week vacation. Then there is the 3 month tour of duty. Do I extend the visa? This time maybe yes next time maybe no. I feel like the 2 year tour of duty is a good amount. Maybe gives you some time to learn the language a bit better. You can hang out with more than just expats and locals who know english. When I was spending a lot of time in Buenos Aires my Spanish was definitely holding me back from getting to that next level of awesome. A lot of the locals there are not the best in English so it really makes a difference. I didn't really spend more than 2 years in any one place all of my 20s and I loved it but now it is a bit different. I just was in the same place for 3 years and it was also amazing. I always had some core close friends but in the last place I had built up just knowing a lot of cool people. It is close but probably my closest friends came out of those Buenos Aires trips and subsequent other trips. Now, I barely talk to them. I made some amazing friends in my last place (Pittsburgh) and now I barely talk to them. What does that all mean? It is important to make friends wherever one is at and that is all we can really do. I think doing this IT will be a great experience. Living in a new country and meeting new people can be electrifying. That is really living life.


RiKD    United States. Jun 22 2017 07:16. Posts 3911

bigredhoss,

Are there any accounts of what it is like to teach at some of these school? What the students are like? General conditions?

I have a degree in history. What further degree would I need?

How easy do you think it would be to cash in on the IE and go back to a domestic situation? Like I do my tour of duty and am like well maybe I want to settle at a domestic location.

How many years do you think it would take to move up to a spot in France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, etc.?


bigredhoss   Cook Islands. Today 09:38. Posts 8514

Hey Rik, sorry I read your reply earlier and was trying to think about the best way to respond, then I forgot about it for a couple days


  On June 22 2017 06:16 RiKD wrote:
Are there any accounts of what it is like to teach at some of these school? What the students are like? General conditions?



In terms of the students’ behavior/attitude it tends to depend on the region. Middle East has a reputation for the worst-behaved students, probably followed by South/Central America. I’ve also heard bad stories about parts of NW Africa and Morocco in particular. East Africa on the other hand is supposed to have great students. Most of Europe and East/Southeast Asia is also supposed to be good.

That said, most people who’ve taught both domestically and internationally say that even the bad international schools have better-behaved students than US public schools, although some say the worst of the Middle East is worse. Most of the worst experiences seem to come from female teachers, perhaps unsurprisingly. One thing at almost all of these schools is that the parents have more power/influence than you’re probably used to at US schools, because they’re paying a lot for tuition in hopes that their kids get into the top US/UK universities. I’ve heard of cases at some schools where teachers are basically forced to change students’ grades if parents are unhappy with them, and if they refuse then the admin just changes them anyway.

General conditions run the gamut from completely barebones, where you’re in a small room and given a chalkboard and nothing else; no materials, no books, no curriculum guidance…to schools with huge technology labs, sports/fitness facilities, etc. that would put many US universities to shame. Sent some more stuff in PM.

Compensation varies a ton, a bottom-tier school in Central America might pay $10-15k/year, whereas a top-tier school in Switzerland can pay $150k/year, $1-2k/mo. housing stipend, a few grand relocation allowance and free roundtrip tickets back to the US every year. Taxes are a bitch in a lot of European countries though so make sure to take that into account. The top-paying schools in China and Southeast Asia probably offer more savings potential than anywhere in Europe. The Aramco schools in Saudi Arabia are generally accepted as having the highest compensation in the world (not sure if base pay tops the best Swiss schools but SA is tax-free), but that means having to live in Saudi Arabia, and on a compound no less.



  I have a degree in history. What further degree would I need?



[note: after writing this I realized I was using certification/license/credential interchangeably; they all mean the same thing]

You don’t need any other degree, you need a US teaching license. Well, getting another degree in Education would be one way to do that, but there are faster and cheaper ways if you already have a [any] 4-year degree. To illustrate the extreme example of this, there was a guy who had a PhD in Physics, but spent the last 20 years of his life just teaching ESL around the world. When he inquired about options for teaching Physics at an international school, he was basically told that his degree and English teaching experience meant nothing, he needed a teaching credential and at that point he would only be as competitive as any other new teacher. Degrees can add levels on the pay scale, but you need a teaching license to get on the scale. Many schools are more apprehensive about hiring someone with an MA/PhD and no experience because it just means paying more for someone with no experience.

Teach Now and Teacher Ready are the two main distance learning credential programs. I did Teach Now, it costs about $6k and lasts 9 months. The first 6 months are done online, and the final 3 months you actually teach in a class for the “field experience” portion (Teach Now finds a school for you to work with). Once you complete the program you get a credential from Washington DC, which has reciprocity with most other states (I think there’s a couple exceptions but I forget which states they are). So you can use that to teach pretty much anywhere in the US and also for teaching internationally. Teacher Ready is similar except it gives you licensure in Florida – which I believe can also be used to teach in other states though I’m not as familiar with Florida’s reciprocity status, and it has a shorter renewal period. It’s also slightly cheaper and the field experience is shorter (1 month I think? I forget).

For a new teacher with no experience, more actual classroom experience looks better on the resume starting out and so I went with Teach Now. I thought it was a good program, although I guess I don’t have much to compare it to. It’s all about teaching methods, classroom management, etc. - they assume you know the content for whatever subject you’re planning on teaching.

You also have to take the Praxis exams at a testing center before getting a license. You can check their website for each state’s testing requirements, but they’re all either the same or similar for most subjects. Basically there’s 3 exams:

-Content knowledge for whatever subject you want to be certified in.

-PLT (Principles of Learning and Teaching) for whatever age group you’re planning to teach (HS/MS/Elementary) – this is basically the teaching methods stuff you learn in whatever teaching preparation program you enroll in.

-Praxis Core – this is actually 3 different tests (Reading/Writing/Math), but you can take them all at once. They are very easy.

So technically 5 exams in total I guess.

The ETS site also has free study guides for each test and you can pay some money to take a practice test which has different questions but similar format to the actual test, and is a pretty good barometer of determining whether you’re ready for the test. I’m not sure what age levels you’re interested in teaching but for ex. here’s the secondary Social Studies test study guide: https://www.ets.org/s/praxis/pdf/5081.pdf

You also don’t have to teach the subject your degree is in, although it’s probably a good idea to get certified in that as well. Once you get your initial teaching credential, getting cross-certified is just a matter of taking the required Praxis exams. There are some teachers who are certified in like 20 different areas with one degree.

Anyway, credentialing is a massive topic and there are a bunch of options I didn’t cover here because a) I’ve probably gone on too much already about this, and b) I don’t want to give incorrect information about anything that I’m misremembering or that’s changed since the last time I checked. For ex. Utah introduced an academic-only pathway last year where you just have to pass the Praxis for the subject you majored in. I believe it’s the only academic certification that doesn’t require some kind of field experience component, making it the cheapest/fastest way to get a teaching license for many people. But because it’s such a new pathway there may be some issues with its recognition going forward – although there haven’t been any to this point that I’m aware of.

Anyway, it’s definitely worth doing your homework on certification if you decide to seriously consider going into teaching. Sent some more resources about this in PM as well.


  How easy do you think it would be to cash in on the IE and go back to a domestic situation? Like I do my tour of duty and am like well maybe I want to settle at a domestic location.



It’s easy to switch from IE to DE and vice versa, teachers do it all the time.


  How many years do you think it would take to move up to a spot in France, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, etc.?



That’s really hard to say. If you’re determined to get into those locations ASAP at all costs and willing to take any position, including ones that barely pay enough to make ends meet (there are good and bad schools in every region), maybe after 2 years of teaching (either domestically or at some crap China school). If you want to get into one of the better schools, maybe 6-8 years, with a lot of variance in both directions. It helps if you get certified in a more in-demand subject – basically HS Math, Physics, and Chemistry. SPED (Special Education) is also in high demand in the better schools, but it’s a bit of a catch-22 because many of the lower-tier international schools you’re likely to start out in with limited experience don’t really have SPED programs. IE is kind of a small world so part of it depends on networking too.

Truck-Crash LifeLast edit: 27/06/2017 09:48

 





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