Katie Baxter – International School Teacher

Baxter-1By: Paula Green

 “I always wanted to teach children, but I never imagined that I’d end up doing it all over the world.” 

        Twenty-seven year old, Katie Baxter is fulfilling her life’s dream: she teaches children and travels the globe.   Baxter is an international school teacher whose journeys have taken her to various parts of Europe and Asia.  She tremendously enjoys her global exploits.

       In 2004, Baxter graduated from North Allegheny High School.   She attended college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where she majored in Elementary Education.

       “After finishing college my nationwide job search suddenly turned international.  I wanted to see what the world had to offer me.  I’d never left the country before, but all of a sudden it was what I wanted more than anything.  I wanted adventures, and oh my goodness, did I find them,” Baxter said.

         Baxter searched the Internet and discovered that her chances of getting a job abroad would greatly increase if she was certified to teach English as a Second Language.  She enrolled in TEFL (Teaching English as a foreign language) Worldwide Prague.

         “I packed my bags, not having a clue what I was doing and headed to Prague, Czech Republic alone.  It was scary!  The four-week intensive course involved student teaching, classroom learning and testing.  By the end of the first week, I knew my life was never going to be the same,” said Baxter.

          “After finishing the TEFL course and earning my certificate, I moved to Munich, Germany and worked for six months at a bilingual kindergarten.  Germany is a wonderful country, but I missed Prague, so at the beginning of the following school year, I moved back.  I worked at a private English preschool and had an amazing experience,” added Baxter.

           “All of my friend were leaving Europe at the same time that school year, so I moved back to the states for a year, but soon felt that I was a stranger in my own country.  I had changed too much and no longer fit in, so I left again.

Baxter-2

            I worked for one year at a private English Academy in Seoul, Korea.  I had students ranging from kindergarten through age 12.  The cultural differences in South Korea are truly shocking.  I toughed it out, and ended up having one of the best years of my life. The field for English teachers is much better in Asia than Europe” Baxter said.

          “After my time in Korea I backpacked around Asia, by myself for six months, island hopping and exploring the most interesting places.  I visited India, Japan and almost every Southeast Asia country.  I took buses, boats and slept in everything from a hostel dorm bunk bed surrounded by strangers to a little 5×5 wooden hut on the beach.  I saw poverty that shook me to the core and forever changed the way I view life in the developed world.  I also witnessed a simpler way of life and families working the land, living in beautiful countries covered with jungles and active volcanoes,” explained Baxter. 

         During this past few summer months, Baxter has been spending time in McCandless Township with her family which includes her father Don, mother Joan, and her five younger siblings Patrick, 25, Kelly and Karen (twins), 24, Elliott, 21 and Kodie, 18.

         For this school year, Baxter is moving to Sur, Oman in the Middle East.  She will teach first grade at an International School on the coast of the Arabian Sea.   She hopes to continue doing this for many years to come.  Baxter wishes to live on every inhabitable continent and explore every country in the world.  She also wants to write a book about her travels.

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