What is it like “going global” in one of the nations of Africa? What are some notable characteristics of Africa-based international schools and their communities? It is often the case that educators and families are intentional in choosing to live and work in an African country. What about you? Could you be a good fit for an international school in Africa?
Thankfully, we have a veteran international educator who led a school in Africa and now consults with schools across the continent to answer these questions and many more! We sat down with Dr. Tim Stuart to draw on his past and current experiences.
Dr. Tim Stuart is the Regional Education Officer with the US Department of State’s Office of Overseas Schools. Tim has served as the Head of School at the International Community School of Addis Ababa, the Executive Director of Strategic Programs and High School Principal at Singapore American School, and the High School Principal of Jakarta International School. Tim has been an international and cross-cultural educator for 30 years, serving schools in Ethiopia, Turkey, Switzerland, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Navajo First Nation in the United States.
Dr. Stuart’s research and writing reflect his passion for creating optimal school environments so all kids can learn and engage at the highest levels. He is the co-author and editor of six books that contribute to the literature around student agency, the future of education, highly effective/progressive schools, professional learning communities in international schools, and optimal character growth in children through adversity via relationships with trustworthy, caring adults. Some titles are part of the PLCs at Work® series: Personalized Learning in a PLC at Work: Student Agency through the Four Critical Questions, Global Perspectives: Professional Learning Communities at Work in International Schools, and others include Children At Promise and Raising Children At Promise.
A Third Culture kid himself, Tim was raised and educated in France and Germany. Tim holds an Ed.D. from Seattle Pacific University, an M.Ed from The College of New Jersey, and a B.A. from Wheaton College.
The guiding question was, “what are some of your experiences as an international educator working and living in an African nation?”
A few of the topics covered were:
The strong pull of community and being purposeful in moving to Africa.
Be ready to work with fellow educators who are on their game!
Many schools have themes that their community rallies around.
The community is strong, and the schools have excellent local connections.
Most of the schools have or need to face their colonial pasts.
New leaders of schools need to come in with the mantra that they know nothing, whether it be concerning managing the school or interacting with the local culture.
One must identify as a “being with” person, open to new experiences and people.
Recruiting for schools like these often involves designing and championing a vision of who you are as a school and community.
Recruiting also can involve staff getting the word out through sharing on social media, presenting at conferences, writing articles, etc., all to convey what makes their school special.
African international schools are preparing for their future as the competition increases, with new schools continuously being planned and built.
This episode was recorded on August 29, 2023.
Tim’s Contact Information: | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | LinkedIn
Resources Mentioned in the Episode:
See links to Tim’s books in his biography, above.
Categories: Recruiting | School Life