… is going to Ethiopia to teach for six months!
I have been accepted as a short term associate with the mission organisation SIM Australia and have been accepted as a teacher at Bingham Academy in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for their first semester of the 2011/12 school year (August until December 2011). My official role is “assisting the English department” but what this will actually look like is yet to be determined. When the school has finalised their staffing they will tell me more. Here’s how the school describes itself:
Bingham Academy is an international Christian school located in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia.
Our vision for Bingham is to provide high quality Christian education for our diverse group of students, representing more than 35 countries. We are aiming to provide students with a great education but also hoping that they will then go out and impact the world for God’s glory.
With over 4 million people, this is the largest city in the Horn of Africa. It is also the headquarters for the African Union, the Economic Commission of Africa and UNICEF in Africa, as well as having around 100 embassies, and many non-government organizations that provide aid to Ethiopia from international sources. This offers a tremendous opportunity to introduce current and future world leaders to Christ.
About half of Bingham’s 300 students in Grades K-12 come from the city’s diverse international community. The other half of our students come from families working all across Ethiopia with a variety of Christian organizations.
So how did I get to this point? I have been teaching for 17 years and love, love, love it. Just as well, because teaching secondary students is bloody hard work if you don’t! God has blessed me with the knack of getting along well with teenagers and a passion for helping them to be successful in their learning. I also have a long-held desire to work in the developing world and long to use my skills in this context as well. There are, of course, opportunities to work in mission and development projects that are focussed directly on the local community, and I am really interested in these, but in the past five years I have been increasingly aware of the need for there to be good quality education for the children of missionaries, aid workers and the like. This means they can then feel more able to do their work in the areas of health, agricultural development, and so forth, without feeling concerned that they are compromising their own children’s education.
About a year ago I applied to be a short term associate with SIM and was accepted. My application was then sent to the school and they have accepted me as well. Yay! So now I am well into the preparation phase. I almost have my flights booked; just making some decisions about the travel I intend to do at the end of my time at Bingham. I have my paperwork for my work permit done, and am getting my immunisations organised. My current school, Clare High School, in South Australia, has agreed to give me leave for a semester and have planned around my absence (I am English Coordinator and Year 12 Coordinator). Most things are falling into place nicely.
I am going to try to keep this blog up to date from now on and keep friends and family in touch with how the preparations are going. Then when the trip begins I may even be organised enough to upload pictures and what not! The fun begins!