International School Community Member Spotlight #15: Tara Moore (An international teacher currently working at Colegio Granadino)
August 7, 2012
Tell us about your background. Where are you from?
My name is Tara Moore. I was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada and for the last eleven years I lived in Ajax, Ontario Canada.
How did you get started in the international teaching community?
I graduated from Teacher’s College in 1995 in Halifax, Nova Scotia and there were no jobs for new teachers. I had already volunteered overseas at the Baha’i World Centre in Israel for 18 months and spent 6 months volunteering in East Africa and the Baltics so I thought that International teaching made perfect sense. I subscribed to The International Educator (TIE) and applied to several positions. Within 3 – 4 months The American School of Guatemala hired me.
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 worked at The American School of Guatemala and Colegio Granadino. The American School of Guatemala was quite large and as I was teaching high school the students were fully bilingual. The English classes only had fifteen students so I found that it was much easier to give the students one on one attention and really get to know them.
At Colegio Granadino the staff and students are very laid back. The students are really helpful and love to give advice as to which hairdresser I should go to and where I should do my shopping. It is really easy to develop a relationship with the students, which is what they want as Colombia is very family/friend-centric.
Describe your latest cultural encounter in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.
One of the things that amuses me in Manizales is how inquisitive people are here. I am very fair and my four year old daughter is biracial with brown hair and skin. When we are out together people stop me to ask if she is Colombian, where I adopted her and how long I have had her. I find it funny because these are questions that people in Canada would think but certainly would not ask. Also, people here are amazed that she can speak two languages as there are very few English speakers here and almost no young children who can speak English.
What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?
I look for a smaller school in a smaller city. I do not enjoy huge cities and quality of life outside of school is just as important as within. I also want to know the average stay of the expat teachers because if there is too much turn over, for me that is a warning sign.
In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?
Challenging, enriching, frustrating, reflective, confirming
Thanks Tara! 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 Colombia like Tara? Currently, we have 15 international schools listed in Colombia on International School Community. Many of the international schools there have had comments and information submitted about them on our website:
• Colegio Anglo Colombiano (8 Comments)
• Colegio Granadino Manizales (22 Comments)
• Colegio Nueva Granada (14 Comments)
• Colegio Panamericano (23 Comments)
• Columbus School Medellin (17 Comments)
• Colegio Karl C. Parrish (17 Comments)
• Colegio Albania (19 Comments)
• Fundacion Liceo Ingles, Pereira (21 Comments)