Administrator Magazine: Leadership
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One of the many reasons U.S. schools rank so low in the world in math and science is a dearth of qualified teachers. One solution? Scout abroad. Several districts found that overseas applicants have stronger résumés. And unlike the majority of American teachers, these applicants often hold doctorates in their fields.

 More than just filling a faculty gap, quality teacher candidates from abroad may also introduce new cultures and customs to students who never venture beyond state lines.

 “Parents, teachers, and principals here are willing to learn about us and where we come from,” says Jusmar Rodriguez, who relocated from Venezuela to North Carolina two years ago through Visiting International Faculty’s exchange program. “That’s just so exciting because as we are teaching, we are revealing another side of the world."

Of course, foreign teachers will face the challenges of unfamiliar classroom jargon and unusual student behavior. “I have to push them more,” notes one Filipino teacher assigned to a middle school in San Mateo, California. She finds American students at once more socially outspoken than Filipino students and less willing to participate in class.

 As an administrator, be prepared to give more time and attention to international recruits as they confront logistical challenges such as obtaining housing, a driver’s license, and a social security card. But consider this part of the fun, and learning, of an experience that will broaden your students’ minds and lives beyond compare.

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