Tuesday, March 01, 2005

I am writing to decline...

I just finished writing the letter I will have to send declining the exchange. I am very willing to be flexible in what I teach, but I'm not willing to teach anything. High school students deserve a PE teacher who knows more than I do about the sports and activities being taught, and who has at least some knowledge of the best ways of teaching PE. They also deserve a PE teacher with much more first aid and safety training than I have. I won't be happy trying to be something I'm not, especially in a country where I don't speak the native language and am not familiar with the culture and customs. And if I'm not happy, then why go?

On the bright side, I went back to the Teacher Exchange website and re-read the FAQs, and it looks like they will try to find another match if you decline your first proposed exchange. I don't know what the chances are of a better proposal being made, but I did try to clarify in my letter what subject areas I think I could teach (Science, English as a Foreign Language, introductory Computer courses, Mathematics, Health). I also said I would prefer middle school but would consider high school if I am comfortable with the subject area.

The bottom line is, even if this means I don't get to do an exchange, I feel strongly that it would be a mistake for myself and unfair to my Finnish students to accept this position.

So, cross your fingers that another proposal comes my way!

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