“EdKids” in the international school community: Who cares?

For your holiday reading pleasure…

How cool to be the author of a new moniker, describing a unique group in our international school community – “EdKids.” An “EdKid” is a child of an educator who works in the same school as their child attends. While there are similarities with kids who are educated in their parents’ schools ‘back home,’ there are many paradigms which are unique to families which are ‘overseas.’   In many of my published articles, I refer to international schools, international school educators, EdKids, Cross-Cultural Kids and Third Culture Kids. I so enjoyed listening to and reading narratives from EdKids, their parent-educators, colleagues of the parent-educators, administrators and counselors during my research, writing and publications.

But, why are we even talking (writing) about EdKids? Typically, they might not even add up to 5% of the student population. As my dissertation advisor kept demanding: “Who cares?  Why is this worth talking about – or researching?”  Well, perhaps many of you, my readers and colleagues,  should care. Whether you thought about it before this blog – or not, whether, you are single or partnered, whether you have children of your own, contemplating having children, or are teaching EdKids – or any other permutation or degree of separation, maybe you should care.  I hope reading this blog will help clarify a number of issues,  answer your questions and develop a greater sense of understanding.

So where do YOU fit in?  Maybe you are:

  • A current or adult EdKid
  • A friend/classmate of EdKids
  • A current or former international educator-parent
  • An educator in the international school,  interfacing with the children of their colleagues
  • A counselor who works with EdKids and all the others who interact with them
  • A non-educator parent in the international school community
  • An administrator, who recruits, hires, orients and supervises these parent-educators and their children
  • An administrator who may have EdKids of your own
  • A board member who may have children enrolled in the school
  • A recruiting agent who promotes careers in international schools and wishes to augment your pool of qualified educators
  • A potential educators/candidates who is considering a job overseas AND/OR…
  • A current international educator who is considering starting a family (as mentioned in my previous blog post)Did I leave anyone out?  In which category/ies do YOU belong? Please write and tell me your insights.

    So now that the point has been hammered in – we probably should all ‘care’ about the EdKid experience. And, now, you may be thinking impatiently, “Ok, ok, Ettie…. Tell me something I don’t already know. Stop teasing me and start telling me more about this unique family paradigm and school experience.”

    Stay tuned, folks.  There’s lots more to come. My research has identified many absolutely positive aspects of this experience, yet also a number of, shall we say, ‘challenging’ aspects of this paradigm.  And, once I begin to describe some of the scenarios, you will probably say “sure, I knew that” or “of course, I observed/experienced that” or “really?  I can’t believe that actually happens.”

    In the meantime, I hope you will enjoy your holidays, with time away from the intense demands of your jobs, time to visit and celebrate with your friends and family who may live far away, … and have time to read, reflect and respond.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

    Happy Holidays.
    Ettie Zilber