Member Spotlights

International School Community Member Spotlight #10: Beverley Bibby (Seisen International School)

February 26, 2012

Every 1-2 months International School Community will highlight one of our members in our Member Spotlight feature.  This month we interviewed Beverley Bibby:

Tell us about your background.  Where are you from?

Auckland, New Zealand

How did you get started in the international teaching community?

My husband died and I decided to register with Search Associates with another couple who I taught with in Auckland – we decided we wanted to teach abroad in an internationals school, so we registered with Search Associates.  We attended a fair in Sydney – initially on registration we had all been approached by a Principal from a school in the Middle East but decided to attend the Fair before making a decision.  At the Fair, they were offered (and accepted) jobs in the Middle East, and I returned to NZ .  I declined the job in the Middle East and was later offered a position in Tokyo, which I accepted, to start in August 2008.

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.

I have only worked at the one international school – Seisen International School from 2008.  I am in my 4th year of teaching at Seisen.  Seisen was my first experience in a PYP school.  It was a new learning curve, but one which I was happy to engage in and has been a great experience.  I love teaching the PYP programme and consider my years have been both personally enriching and intellectually and professionally very exciting.  I love my profession and delight in seeing and sharing in my students learning.  I see teaching as a holistic profession and never cease to be amazed with my students.

Describe your latest cultural encounter in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.

I recently traveled to Yudanaka, up north, to see the snow monkeys.  The town was a winter wonderland:  gigantic icicles that sparkled like jewels, snow drifts as pristine as one would imagine, powder snow that wafted into space when one took a handful and blew on it,  and monkeys that romped in the snow, rolled up snow balls and threw them at each other and dive bombed their elders in the hot pool.  Those in the pool wore faces of absolute contentment and relaxation, as the hot water warmed their bodies, and all this midst a constant fall of gentle snow flakes.  From there to Zao, to freezing temperatures and white out.  Huge trees covered in snow that had frozen to give them the look of ‘snow monsters’ – and all this in sub zero temperatures at the top of the mountain where one couldn’t stay up there for too long coz of the sheer rawness and frigid temperatures.  Nature in the raw!  Magic!! and such a contrast from the concrete and human jungle of Tokyo!  Japan – a country of contrasts –  from ancient tradition and human culture, to the raw beauty of nature.

Solemn contrast to our school trip to Ichniomake – where we saw the negative power of nature – the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake and the Tsunami, as we worked throughout the days to support those clearing up the aftermath.  The sheer magnitude of the destruction was almost beyond comprehension, and has left memories that quell the heart and leave one reminded that we are at the mercy of nature, despite our human progress!  Left me feeling so humbled by the courage and fortitude of those who survived the disaster.  Their tenacity, courage was living testimony to the frailty and yet strength of the human will to survive!

What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?

Personal health and well being – the social support system, the medical system and insurance, the political stability, an income that allows one to live and travel to see the culture and history of the country, and personal freedom.

In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?

Challenging,  invigorating, demanding, breathtaking , fun!

Thanks Beverley!  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!

Want to teach at an international school in Japan like Beverley?  Currently, we have 34 international schools list in Japan on International School Community.  Some of our members have left comments and information on the following schools in Japan:

International School of the Sacred Heart (5 Comments)
American School in Japan (19 Comments)
• Canadian International School (Tokyo) (9 Comments)
Kais International School (2 Comments)
Makuhari International School (7 Comments)
Nishimachi International School (7 Comments)
Fukuoka International School (5 Comments)
Osaka International School (6 Comments)
Yokohama International School (4 Comments)
St Michael’s International School (7 Comments)
Hokkaido International School (7 Comments)
Hiroshima International School (16 Comments)