It is not often I watch mid-morning television, but when I do it is via a closed-caption treadmill TV at the gym. This summer I was intrigued with an interview of educators turned authors and logged into Amazon Prime to order the book the guests had wrote while still on the treadmill. I have a soft spot for new books, especially ones that donate proceeds to help those in need – like the fact that 100% of proceeds of this book benefit education through The Children of Haiti Project.
The New Normal: Tales from International School Teachers is a compilation of stories from educators who have packed their bags and set off to adventure in a career in teaching overseas. Curated by Matt Minor & Kevin A. Duncan, the educators in this book share their unique stories as they adapt and discover the challenges and rewards in a career of teaching in different countries, languages, and cultures than where they grew up. This book is so easy to read- each story spans a page or two and with a different encounter; I wanted to continue reading to discover more about the experience that each teacher had. Not only did I learn more about the countries and culture that the teacher had lived and worked in, the educator brought me along to be in the moment to laugh or cry with them.
Is this book just for teachers? No, I am not a teacher. I am married to one, but he hasn’t read it because before he could, I already passed it along to a neighbor. You snooze, you lose. This is a book for anyone who values people. Share it with a young adult who is contemplating what to study in college, share it with someone established in their career, share it with someone retired. This book reveals the insecurities and fear of change, the freedom in allowing others to influence your life in positive ways, and the investment in others. Smiles and laughter cross all language barriers. It is the common way to say: I think you are valuable.