International School Community Member Spotlight #8: Gloria Hewitt
December 26, 2011
Tell us about your background. Where are you from?
I was born and raised in Spain, attending international schools in Barcelona and Madrid. My father’s American and my mom is Spanish, so I was always considered ½ and ½ . I went to college in the U.S. and got a B.F.A. (Fine Arts) from Otis College in Los Angeles. I started teaching at a public school in L.A. in 1998 and never looked back.
How did you get started in the international teaching community?
In 2006 I made the decision to move back to my “home town” and applied for a job at my old school, The American School of Barcelona. I worked there for 4 years where I shared students and classrooms with some of the elementary school teachers from my childhood. My experience at ASB was a wonderful experience. Once I had those years under my belt…I was hooked on the International School life-style. Our initial idea was to move to Argentina, where my husband is from, but when the opportunity came up to move to Brazil and teach at Graded, my family and I were thrilled to take on the challenge.
Which international schools have you worked at? Please share some aspects of the schools that made them unique and fun places in which to work.
The American School of Barcelona and Graded – The American School of São Paulo. The best part of ASB was it’s location, Barcelona. Graded is challenging in a professional way, but São Paulo is a tough city.
Describe your latest cultural encounter in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.
Graded is very strong on offering Community Service opportunities in the area. I am the staff leader for one of those groups, in which a group of high school students fund-raise for and visit a Cancer Shelter close by. Every time we visit this location I am further impressed by how mature and resilient our students can be. It’s quite inspiring.
What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?
Location is key. I look for a place that I can picture myself living for at least 3-4 years. In my case, I need to consider my non-teaching spouse. He can legally work in South America & Europe, so I’m going to be drawn to those areas. Another really important factor is the true savings potential. Each school has it, some more than others, and I’m more interested in saving money than traveling.
In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?
Stimulating, unpredictable, addictive, inspiring, challenging.
Thanks Gloria! If you are a member of International School Community and would like to be our next member spotlight, contact us here. If we choose to highlight you, you will get a coupon code to receive 6 months free of premium access to our website!