About me…

I’m just a kooky guy looking for adventure across the globe, hoping to influence the next generation through out-of-the-box teaching, and hoping to influence the current generation through my out-of-the-box shenanigans.

12 thoughts on “About me…

  1. Hello Jeff,
    What excitement! I look forward to following your posts this year. You already caused several bouts of spontaneous laughter! You will be happy to know that I started the school year in Florida with more talk about play, passion and purpose than test scores! The staff looks happy and the kids are marvelous, always. Take care…

  2. Wow, your posts are excellent! I love that you include the funny pictures and just seem like such a fun-loving hard working couple! I thought it was so funny that you used Cab Calloway in one of your lessons (great lesson by the way), I went to Cab Calloway High school, lol. I look forward to your future posts! I am currently in college to become a teacher, and am very interested in treaching English abroad. I dream of joining the Peace Corps and working in Africa, but would like to try it out first, maybe in Asia, to see if I am any good at teaching English far from home. Mali sounds incredible! Thank you so much for your awesome posts, I can’t wait ot read more!

    • Thanks for the nice comments! If you get a teaching certificate, you can teach more than English abroad. International schools hire teachers in all subjects and grade levels, just like in the States. Most (but not all) international schools require you to have 2 to 3 years teaching experience though. You can check out the possibilities by looking at the website of International Schools Services. Good luck to you!

  3. Hi Jeff,

    Discovering your blog was fantastic! At least now I can get an idea about what Mali means for an expatriate, and with a sense of humor that makes you forget about the bad stuff in Africa.

    I´m still having two months here in Cameroon, where I’ve been working for a year, and after I’ll be moving to Bamako, but I have no idea if I should expect a big difference, even talking about west-african countries anyway.

    What really worries me is finding an appartment on my own having no contacts there. I’ve heard that Handallaye-ACI 2000 is the best area for expats, but I would really appreciate any advice you might give.

    Thank you for your wonderful blog.

    • Hi Pascal,
      Two months in Cameroon should give you some preparation for Mali as Cameroon is French-speaking and is also a developing country like Mali. So at least you’re familiar with all of the challenges/delights that come with living in that situation. But Mali is landlocked and MUCH hotter and drier right now (40 degrees). I also think Mali has one of the richest cultures in Africa, and you’ll certainly enjoy the world renowned music. As far as where to live, expats live in many different areas around the city, all of them with their own advantages/disadvantages. My advice is to choose a neighborhood that is close to your work, because the roads/traffic can get really, really crazy. There is a French guy who operates an email exchange where people list apartments for rent (as well as things for sale). You can email him at kri@bamakool.com to join.

  4. Hi Jeff,
    Was very happy to find your blog today. I’m in a place personally and professionally where I’m seriously considering the idea of teaching abroad. So much to think about and learn. It’s like putting a fire hose to your mouth and trying to take it all in without spilling. While I am very serious about this, I’m also at the beginning of the process and not sure how to proceed. Any recommendations?

    Thanks

    • Hi Rich,
      We started our adventure by going to the websites of International Schools Services and Search Associates. They are the two top organizations that help teachers find jobs in international schools. Their websites are full of great info. If you want to be free of the horrors of standardized testing mania, love to travel, and want a daily life full of adventure and interest, international teaching is the answer!

  5. Hi Jeff,

    I read your last blog post and then your first. I usually never read blogs, mostly because I don’t have the time but I was drawn to your wit, humor and storytelling. I am looking to go international in one year. I have taught high school but for the last ten years I have been coaching and training K-8 grade teachers in literacy & Reading Recovery. I’m excited to see what possibilities there might be for me (I have a non-teaching husband and 2 kids).

  6. Hello Jeff,
    My name is José and I write you from Spain.
    First at all I´m sorry for my poor English. I trate to improve it every day.
    I´ve been reading about your fantastic experience in Bamako and I can feel your love for their people, culture, music…It´s amazing.
    I write you because my father will live in Bamako for a year and I´m a little worry about the actually polity situation. I would like to know your opinion about and what do you recomended him the first days.
    Thank you so much
    Kind regards

    • Hi Jose,
      Thank you for your very kind comments. I’m happy that you like reading about my adventures. I left Mali in June and am now living in Shanghai, but I’m still glad to answer your questions about Mali. I always felt safe in Bamako and traveled throughout the city day and night without problems, other than a few times being pulled over by the police who were hoping for a little money. The fighting with the Islamists that you read about has happened in the far north, 500 to 1000 miles from Bamako. I enjoyed the organized chaos of Bamako, the colors, the music, the art, and the friendliness of the people. In the first month your dad should definitely attend a music concert, take a pirogue ride on the Niger, visit the Grande Marche, and enjoy some cold local beer at one of the stick bars along the river. Good luck to him!

      • Thank you so much Jeff. I´m very happy with your answer. Congratulations for your blog and I wish you good luck in Shanghai!

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