UNI (Uh, No I will-not-teach-there??!!!?? [or maybe I will]) Overseas Teaching Fair

I’m writing from the reclined seat of my second flight of the day, the Dallas Fort Worth to Miami International leg.  My week at home flew by, just like I knew it would, but it was definitely a wonderful, life-changing trip!

Life-changing?  I know it sounds dramatic, but it’s true.  Although any excuse to go home would have been nice, the reason I carved this trip out of my schedule months back was because I needed to attend the UNI Overseas Teaching Fair.  In order to, you know, have a paid teaching job next school year while continuing to have the opportunity to live overseas.  I’ll get to the fair in a minute, but first I want to reflect upon the weeks leading up to the fair.

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A Quick Hello

The last few weeks, I have been completely and utterly trapped in a world of resumes, cover letters, and excel spreadsheets.

Why?  Well, in less than three weeks, I will return to the US to attend the University of Northern Iowa International Teaching Fair.  There, as I mentioned several posts back, I hope to obtain a teaching contract that will allow me to, once again, live abroad.  I began registering for the fair in October, became fully registered with all my letters of recommendation on file and portfolio completed in December, and began researching the schools with openings this month.  I’m now in the process of emailing cover letters and resumes to schools I would like to work for.  It’s both tremendously exciting and nerve-wracking.  And, above all, time-consuming.  Right now, schools I’m interested in range from Bolivia and Brazil to China and Serbia.  They are all over the map.  Although I would like to stay in South America, so that I could keep practicing my Spanish, I have read time and time again that teachers attending these highly competitive and fast-paced job fairs have to remain geographically flexible.  I would name a couple of regions that I am avoiding, but I’m afraid that if I did, I would end up landing a job there- life is just funny like that sometimes.

So, the posts will be sparse until I am through with the fair.  Expect a post around February 10th, declaring where I will end up next year.

Also, I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO excited to come home!  Unfortunately, I’ll only be in the US for one week (I wanted to come for two, but the varying prices of plane tickets from day to day forced me to limit my visit to a week), and will be in Iowa for 3 of those days, really only leaving me an afternoon and two full days at home.  I’m used to anticipating vacations, not homecomings, but I have been fantasizing about things I’m going to do for weeks, and as January 31st draws closer and closer, the daydreams are only getting becoming more frequent.  Things I am excited about: running my dog Tabooli, eating good Thai food in Tuptim Thai, seeing a handful of friends, hugging Elena’s pregnant belly, sleeping in my bed, taking a HOT shower (and shaving my legs!), throwing toilet paper into the toilet (I’m sure I’ll accidentally put it in the trash a few times), eating a humongous salad, catching up with my family, and- more than anything else- seeing Jeremiah.

This visit is conjuring up a weird mix of dread and excitement for me- as my departure date approaches, I have so much to do in regard to this teaching fair, and there are times that I wish I had more time to get it all done.  Yet, I’m keeping a countdown.  That’s how ready I am to be home for a short while.  Even if I end up leaving the fair empty-handed, I will be glad that I was able to spend a few days in my homeland.  But… I hope to have two reasons to be glad.