If you ever have an opportunity to work in another country, I would really, really recommend it

Laurence Baxter Video Thumbnail
Laurence Baxter
Deputy Headteacher - The English College in Prague
BA International History & International Politics
Laurence Baxter talks about working in the education sector, and what it's like to work internationally.

A transcript of the video:

Hello, My name is Laurence Baxter and I am the deputy head teacher at a school called the English College in Prague, which is a British school in Prague in the Czech Republic, we are an International Baccalaureate School. And we are one of the oldest established British schools in the Czech Republic. I studied international history and international politics at the University of Sheffield from 2001. I decided to study history at the University of Sheffield in 2001 because when I was looking for universities to apply to and to go to, Sheffield had a great reputation. It didn't just come top of the various league tables which were quite influential when I was looking at somewhere to study. I think he had a reputation certainly at that point of having lots of celebrated academics, great resources, and being a really nice learning environment, which is certainly My experience from spending my undergraduate years there.

I decided to work in the education sector when I was quite young, I think I was doing my GCSEs when I decided that I wanted to be a history teacher. So to some extent, everything that came after that, including my degree, was in preparation for that. I certainly spent my years in Sheffield knowing that the one of the big steps after that would be to do to teacher training. And I felt like everything I was doing, in my degree was part of that preparation. So for example, there lots of resources and books and things like that. That I came across and used during my degree, which I sometimes use in my, in my lessons today. And I've been teaching for nearly 15 years. 

I feel that the skills and experiences from studying in Sheffield really helped me to develop primarily as a historian, I wasn't thinking at that point about going into educational leadership. I was thinking a lot about the type of history teacher, I want to be, the type of subjects I really want to specialise in. And I've been really lucky because some of the subjects that I was I spent a lot of time studying at Sheffield, particularly things like the Soviet Union. I've been lucky enough to teach that at IB. For example, I remember doing quite a lot of work on fascism, particularly Italian fascism as part of my degree and I was lucky enough to teach that. When I was teaching A Levels at my previous school in the UK. So my experiences at university have been really invaluable. My job title is Deputy Head for pastoral and well-being so I'm very much and I lead our tutors and our heads of house I oversee the safeguarding of our students I work on trying promote a culture of well being at my school. I also lead on professional development. 

I really enjoy working internationally, I've been working internationally since 2014. When I studied at Sheffield and when I did my international history and International Politics degree, it wasn't at that point with the intention of working abroad. That didn't really become part of my thinking until nearly 10 years after leaving university. But having studied in a place where and having studied a degree, that was very internationally focused. I can't really overstate how, how useful that's been for teaching a qualification like the International Baccalaureate in a school overseas. I love working overseas because I enjoy immersing in a different culture. I enjoy seeing And I enjoying living in in a, in a different place where things Are done differently I enjoy learning about how education works in different countries. 

Obviously working in a school which is a British school overseas. We are, we are part of a much, much bigger network. So I'm lucky to have colleagues and connections in British schools right across the world. And I've been lucky enough to visit other British schools right across the world. So I think it gives you a real sense of the influence of a UK style education. It gives you a real sense of the importance of English as a language of education. And it, and it gives you a real, it in a way, an opportunity to reflect on areas of history that have different levels of importance in different parts of the world so there are some things that we learn about when we think about and talk about a lot in the UK, which we, which are not as important if you happen to be living in Prague or wherever because people have their own historical and cultural touchpoints if you like. 

I would say, take advantage of all the opportunities you can whilst you're living in such a great place and working in such a successful and high attaining and interesting environment. I would say, Don't underestimate how important some of the skills and experiences that you have at university will influence your later life. And I would say if you ever have an opportunity to work in another country and live in another country and work with people from other countries. I would really, really recommend it because I don't think you will regret it.

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