After swapping professional places with a teacher in Canada, Spanish teacher Angeles Manzanaque enjoyed “most enriching experience of [her] professional career.”

 

"One of the major advantages of a teacher swap is the opportunity to get to know a school very different from your own and to experience it thoroughly, so much so that you are part of it. It is not the same to read a book about the educational system of the country; you have to live it fully. Also, it permits you to know a different teaching methodology. You observe and you learn to plan according to the guidelines that they use there and that in many aspects are different  from ours. You have the experience of seeing how the family relations are, the diversity of the students, the pedagogical criteria followed for the students with special learning needs and the evaluation criteria. Of all of this, you learn and you acquire a more ample vision of distinct educational models.

 

I must say that the experience in Canada has made me more open to other horizons and has created certain interest in learning about other educational systems outside of my country, other centers, other professionals… In the future, I would like to participate in another program that would allow me to share my teaching experience in yet another country. Now I can say with clarity that teaching abroad has been the most enriching experience of my professional career.

 

My advice to other teachers going abroad is to integrate fully in the destination school. Participate in cultural excursions, extracurricular activities, etc. It is a unique opportunity and you have to take advantage of it fully. Get close to the professionals that are available to help you. Share your ideas, relate your doubts and always ask for advice when you need it. Keep in mind that for you, everything is very new and they have the experience. Create ties between the two schools wherever it is possible, this will be very beneficial not only for you, but especially for your students and your colleagues."