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The Perks of International Teacher Certification

When we spoke with 20-year veteran teacher Adam Rugnetta, he was in the Austrian mountains with his family. It’s not uncommon for him to be traveling. In the 90’s as a recent college graduate with a passion for world travel, Adam knew his profession of choice would need to allow flexibility. He would need the ability to pick up and go every few years, he’d need time off for trips with his family, but he would also need an income. Having studied history in college, Adam decided to pursue international teaching. Even without a teaching certificate, he never had much trouble finding jobs at international schools. But that changed a few years back, as more and more international schools began requiring certification.

Adam is currently teaching at the American School of Milan in Italy. Previously, he has taught in India, Spain, and Brazil. Teaching internationally has allowed Adam to see the world. Additionally, because he has extended winter breaks and summers off, he has been able to enjoy holiday travel with his family. To keep the career he has learned to love, Adam enrolled in American Board’s teacher certification program and was certified within one year.

Love International Teaching

Adam teaches 8th grade humanities and International Baccalaureate Theory of Knowledge to 11th and 12th grade students. 

When asked what he loves about international teaching, Adam notes the different freedoms that come with the job. He says “What do I love about teaching? Besides summer? I love that I have a lot of freedom to be creative and that the end result is memorable for kids. I can inspire them to reach their potential and give them the advice no one gave me.” 

There is one benefit to teaching that Adam did not see coming. He says “I didn’t realize it would make me nicer and more diplomatic.”

In addition to his talent for teaching, Adam is a gifted cartoonist, which he employs in the classroom in order to engage students. Adam says, “if students aren’t paying attention, they are not going to learn.” But Adam knows students these days inundated with bits of political information, and he uses this to expand their understanding of history and current events. He says, “Every kid hears the name of politicians and international dramas. Once you break it down and make events easier to understand visually, students join dinner conversations with parents. They notice political signs on the roads. They see it on the internet and then they understand. And all current events have a history. I get their trust as a teacher because they know what I teach is applicable to the world they’re seeing.”

You can see more of the cartoons Adam creates to help engage students on his Instagram and Twitter pages.

International Teacher and Cartoonist Adam Rugnetta’s depiction of his experience with international teacher certification.

The Need for International Teacher Certification

Adam taught internationally for years without holding certification. However, even with years of experience to his name, he saw a shift in international schools’ hiring policies toward a focus on certification as opposed to experience. After learning that most international schools now require certification, Adam looked for a certification path that would allow him to capitalize on his experience as a veteran teacher and would fit his schedule. 

When Adam learned of American Board’s online program for international teacher certification, he knew it was the right fit for him. He says “I was in India and I heard I could study there and even take the exam there. It was manageable. So many certification programs require too much for a father, a teacher, living far away.”

Learn more about American Board’s program here. Lastly, follow American Board on Facebook to receive program updates.

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