Grit, Determination and Perseverance - Character Traits that Can Lead to an International Teaching Position! Meet Jessica Simmons

What character strengths and dispositions help international educators start their going global journey to sustain them through the ups and downs of teaching and living internationally? We learned firsthand from our guest, Jessica Simmons, who shared a multi-part Going Global Story that models these traits. 

Jessica Simmons is from Melbourne, Australia. She has over 19 years of experience as a qualified educator. Working as a drama and humanities teacher across schools in various states of Australia and China (albeit only remotely), she also has over nine years of leadership experience. During a hiatus from teaching, she worked in the Museum and Local Government sectors for ten years (and had two children). Her most recent positions include Head of Arts at an independent school in regional Australia and Director of Performing Arts for Wellington College, Hangzhou, China. She has a Master’s of Education from Melbourne University, a Bachelor of Arts (Drama), and a Bachelor of Education (Secondary). A keen netballer, hiker, reader, and theatre-goer, she loves to spend the weekend exploring new places with her husband and children. Her next adventure will be in Abuja, Nigeria, where she is moving in July  2023 to teach Performing Arts at the American International School of Abuja - with her husband and two children (aged 9 and 13) in tow.

The guiding question for the episode was, “How did you use tenacity, grit, and perseverance in your quest to become an international educator?”

We discussed Jessica’s four-year journey in and out of international education. Along the way, we learned of her experiences through the pandemic and, more recently, teaching in Australia while pursuing the international teaching lifestyle. An added bonus is hearing from Jessica’s husband and two children, who shared their thoughts about the upcoming move to West Africa.  

This episode was recorded on June 24, 2023. 

Jessica’s Contact Information: | Jessica has been writing about this adventure on Medium. Here is a direct link  to her account. 

Resources Mentioned in the Episode:

Jacqueline Mallais, International Teacher Consultant 

Doug Ota’s book Safe Passage

Disc Personality Assessment:  Model Descriptor and Free Test

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