Nicole Thompson, from Trinidad and Tobago, is teaching in Cayman Islands.

"Why have Caribbean teachers left? We left for better salaries, for better working conditions, for smaller student-teacher ratios, for more flexible opportunities, for advanced qualifications, for better behaved students, for better student attitude to learning, for intrinsically motivated students, for an opportunity to see more of the world, for personal change … and the list can go on.

As an expatriate teaching professional, I feel it is important to interject that leaving one’s homeland to live and work in another country does not indicate a lack of patriotism or appreciation for one’s country of birth, but rather is an act of self-determination and can often be an act of self-preservation. We, in fact, often act as ambassadors in our new countries of residence, exporting and sharing our culture when opportunities present themselves and therefore help to develop the cultural literacy of the students and other colleagues with whom we work.

Using my experience in the Cayman Islands as an example, on any given school day, a student can encounter a mathematics teacher from Trinidad, a science teacher from Ireland, a history teacher from Jamaica and a support teacher from Canada. They each bring their own beliefs, values, and goals into that learning environment of the classroom."