After living in Poland for nine years, the Popovich family traded the cold Warsaw winters for the hot heat of Kuala Lumpur. They joined the I.S.K.L family after never having travelled to Asia. As Mrs. Popovich illustrated, “being international teachers, I think we got into this business to see the world.” I.S.K.L seemed like it would be a good fit for their two daughters as well, because as Matt described there is “a lot more going on specifically for students.” They were also persuaded by the travel opportunities, being told they need to take advantage of the good flight costs. “We’ve heard Airasia, you have to go to Singapore for $11,” Mrs. Popovich laughed.
Leaving the friends that were a part of your previous culture is very hard, Matt explained this when he said, “I miss my friends the most for sure, I would say that’s the big one.” But they’ve learned the I.S.K.L culture is very welcoming. Mrs. Popovich summed up her experience so far saying, “I think it’s always hard as a new teacher to walk into a group of students that don’t know you, have never seen your face, they don’t know your reputation, and students have been like incredibly welcoming”. Mr. Popovich noticed that the school is filled with people who are, “very happy and active in the school community.”
Teaching high schoolers involves a different experience than teaching younger kids, both of them being high school teachers are aware of this. Mr. Popovich chuckled saying, “I like teaching period. But high school students are a little more grown up, a little more mature, and able to have good discussions. It’s easier for me for sure, I’d have a hard time dealing with my daughters’ age.” Although the age of your students can impact your experience teaching, Mrs. Popovich believes that the children she teaches throughout the world are very similar. “Kids are kids no matter where they are in the world, I think kids are kids everywhere. They are excited about many of the same things, they enjoy a lot of the same things.” She then shared what she loves about teaching, smiling as she said, “I think everyday is different, everyday is kind of a new challenge.” She went on to add how, “everyday I have to solve different problems.”
Their teaching journeys have allowed them to be able to grow and learn things that they had not known when they began their careers. Mr. Popovich is a social studies teacher, and having been an I.B teacher for a while, he says the people he has worked with have gifted him a lot of direction. “I’ve learned a lot just as a teacher being in many different schools, this is my 7th school that I taught in, so you learn a lot again by working with a bunch of different people and a bunch of different kids.” Mrs. Popovich says she initially chose to become a Math teacher for more, “superficial things.” She thought it was a good career because she was good at math, liked working with kids and thought it would be fun. But overtime she says it has grown into something different. She has learned it isn’t just memorising facts, “It’s learning how to deal with all these pieces of information and synthesize them into figuring out how to solve a problem.”