Member Spotlight #37: Tr. Ponnumuthu Thankaraj (A veteran international school teacher from India)
April 30, 2017
I am a Mathematics Teacher and I love teaching mathematics for slow learners as well as gifted ones. I have done my Masters of Science with Major Mathematics from Vinayaga Missions University, at Salem, India. Also I have a degree in Education from Tamilnadu Teachers Education University, at Chennai. I have done a E-Comerce cource from Informatics Computer Institute Noida, Delhi which helped me to involve students into modern technology. I had a training with Cambridge International Examinations for A and As Level Mathematics through Gandhi School, Anchol, Jakarta Indonesia. I had a nine months training from Institute for Total Revolution, Vedichhi, Valod District Gujaraat, India. During my school days, I used to be very shy in nature, but now I have improved a lot and able to Train the Trainer position for a couple of times. I am basically from a small town called Mondaikad at Kanyakumari District of Tamilnadu, India.
How did you get started in the international teaching community?
My first International Experience was with Holyland International School at Kathmandu, Nepal, which I went by train and bus as mode of travel around three thousand kilometers from my home town with extreme climatic change from 32 degree Celsius to -2 degree Celsius on January 9th 1993. Even though there is no visa requirement to enter into Nepal, I consider it as my first International Teaching Community.
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.
Describe your latest cultural encounter (or reverse cultural encounter) in your current placement, one that put a smile on your face.
While working in Indonesia and Myanmar, the People are very polite and respectful. I was selected as “The Most Patient Teacher-Secondary” from Singapore International School made me to smile since it happened within three months time. From AIS, Mandalay I had a lot of fun by riding motor bikes for 9 hours with a group of 7 teachers and the water-festival at school premises made me happy which one can feel it by experience only. Students happily call me Teacher Pon Pon; it makes me to smile at times. Implementing Student Centered Learning by the slogan “Each One Teach One” , gave me satisfaction of teaching learning through Peer and Teachers as well as one to one learning. At one instance, without knowing local language, my barber shaved my mustache instead of trimming it. It makes me self-smile whenever I thought of the situation how it happened 🙂 It is really fun as we are here from different countries and being one family like environment during luncheon.
What are some important things that you look for when you are searching for a new position at an international school?
I prefer not to bargain for salaries, it should be according to the qualification and experiences as per the school. I had couple of experiences to bargain it. It really made me to think how can a Teacher to bargain like a business person with the school. The complete Teacher Resources for the particular class should be provided by the school, which will save a lot of time of preparation of lessons, instead of searching the resource itself. As I am highly capable of teaching middle school and High school, managing students is not a concern for me. There should be free internet facility for additional search of ideas/ images/project models etc.
In exactly 5 words, how would you describe the international school teaching experience?
Training the Students to Become Global Citizen.
Thanks Tr. Ponnumuthu Thankaraj!
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Do you think you have what it takes to be a veteran international school teacher like Tr. Ponnumuthu Thankaraj? What character traits does it take? We have an article on our blog that discusses this very question. It is called the “Top 10 Character Traits of a Seasoned International School Teacher“. Read the whole article here.