Elementary School Teacher, Rabat, Morocco
Bachelor of Education (Junior Primary and Primary Teaching) 2004
Emma Burchall was born and raised in Henley Beach, South Australia, and has used her teaching degree to travel the world, teaching in international schools in Suzhou, China, Singapore and now Rabat, Morocco.
Emma graduated from UniSA in 2004 with a Bachelor of Education (Junior Primary and Primary Teaching) and a major in Chinese (Mandarin), completed through University of Adelaide. She taught at Jervois Primary School in South Australia before embarking on her global teaching adventure in 2009. She shares some insights into the life of a globe-trotting teacher.
I chose junior primary teaching because I enjoy working with younger children. Their vibrancy and zest for life brings me such joy and happiness each day. I am proud to be guide and mentor to these young ones. Teaching this age-group can have such a positive impact in their lives and builds the foundations for their learning, success and future.
I decided to work and travel because I was seeking adventure that was rewarding, fulfilling and challenging. I was also looking for something different. Working abroad has opened the doors to the rest of the world and has given me so many opportunities to experience new countries, languages and cultures. I believe one of the best ways to experience a country is to live it!
The proudest moments of my work in international schools so far are watching the growth of my children each year; not just academically but also socially and emotionally. Building a network of colleagues from around the world, gaining a range of experiences in British, American and IB curriculums and becoming an Apple Distinguished Educator are also proud moments!
(The Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) programme is professional development training organised by Apple for teachers around the world. Emma applied while working in China and her short video, which showcased different ways she used technology to enhance her students’ learning, earned her a place in the program. )
My favourite things about living in Morocco are the gorgeous sunny blue skies and the warmth and friendliness of Moroccan people. I've never eaten a bad dessert either! North Africa is a fascinating part of the world, and so different to Asia.
I can't start my day without a cup of good coffee, a hot shower and the warmth, smiles and greetings of my second graders!
What advice do you have for new teaching graduates looking to combine travel and teaching? Go for it! Most good international schools require 2-5 years of teaching experience first. Even if you are a little unsure about moving abroad (like I was), you'll probably realise it was one of the best things you've ever done. I've grown a lot personally and professionally and I now have a greater appreciation for home and my loved ones. Although I travel home about once every one or two years, the life experience you get by living and working overseas is one of the most memorable. It's not always easy, but it's worth it!
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