Just in time for the celebration of World Teachers’ Day, we have a Filipino teacher who teaches abroad as a special guest. With his courage and kindness, he was able to realize his dream of expanding his horizons and is now a passionate ESL teacher in Mongolia.
- How long have you been teaching abroad?
I have been teaching abroad for almost 2 years. Technically I’ve been here for a year and 8 months now.
- What made you leave the Philippines and seek greener pastures?
It was my desire to learn more about life and continue to challenge myself in what else I can do besides teaching under the DepED umbrella that prompted me to work abroad. I felt that my professional growth would have been limited had I continued to remain in the backcountry schools of the Bukidnon division.
- In your opinion, what are the requirements for going abroad?
When I go abroad, I consider a brave heart, strong mind and English communication skills as requirements for someone who wants to work abroad. A brave heart would counteract homesickness; A strong mind would focus you on what you are doing and on your duties; and knowledge of English would make you fit for international work.
- How did you get used to foreign country? Students? Culture? What challenges did you face?
Adjusting to a foreign country, students and culture is a matter of positive attitude and flexibility. We, Filipinos, are known for being optimistic and well-mannered. So adjustment in both the physical and social environment has not become such a total barrier. Despite this, I faced more challenges in dealing with language differences. Living in a community that speaks a foreign language for you was tough, mostly because people couldn’t communicate in English, even in a way that you couldn’t understand.
- Comparing your workload, income and fulfillment in the Philippines to Mongolia, what would you say?
Here in Mongolia I only teach 21 hours a week with an additional 2 hours of club facilitation. In terms of income, I earn just a little more than the current Master Teacher 1 rate (pay grade 18). And in terms of fulfillment, I feel more fulfilled here because I’ve been able to maximize my teaching skills in English classes compared to my experience in the Philippines at the time.
- Was it hard adjusting? Why do you think that?
For me, the adjustment wasn’t difficult at all, maybe because of my personality. I was made too flexible by the fact that I was already well exposed socially during my student leadership to professional years. Maybe it was difficult the first three (3) weeks due to language barrier.
- As a foreign teacher, how do you share your own culture with your colleagues and students?
I constantly display Filipino values and characteristics such as: politeness, hygiene, an inclination to music, the virtue of patience, diligence, punctuality and consideration. I believe that in this simple way I was able to pass on the Filipino culture to my colleagues and students.
- what would you say Kababayan Who is planning to try their luck as a teacher abroad?
To all my kababayan who want to work abroad, think a few times before you decide. Ask your loved ones and consider whether it is worth leaving the Philippines.
- World Teachers Month is September, right? How do you celebrate and with whom?
We also have a World Teachers Celebration here similar to what we do in the Philippines, such as large gatherings and stage performances, parties and card/gift giving. All the teachers in the country carry out various activities in their respective places, schools, offices and the like.
- Farewell photo to all Filipino teachers nearby.
To all Filipino teachers around the world, HAVE A HAPPY AND MEANINGLY HAPPY TEACHERS DAY! Be proud that you are one because our life is our legacy to the next generations. Mabuhay tayong mga guro!
Teacher Alfred B. Caamino, Jr., 32, licensed teacher for more than 11 years. He ended his service in the Ministry of Education with the appointment of Master Teacher 1 in Talakag III District, Bukidnon Division to continue professional growth abroad. He found his happiness in Mongolia as an ESL teacher at Darkhan Empathy School (SY 2018-2019) and as a teacher at Terelj Boarding School (SY 2019-2020) with the same position. He also works part-time as an IELTS trainer at EDX School, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. He graduated cum laude with a BA in Elementary Education with a concentration in English and a Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in Education Administration with honors in research. Due to employment abroad, he eventually earned 12 units towards his Doctor of Philosophy degree with a major in Education Management.
Thanks to Larry Icabandi Nabiong | #Interview #teacher #Alfred #Caamino #ESL #teacher