Ep:63 Dr. Tiffany Smith - 'What We Carry With Us"
There are so many people who have been part of my expat network that I often forget how we met. But occasionally, I do remember and that’s the case with Dr. Tiffany Smith.
A few years ago, Tiffany reached out with an invitation to appear on her podcast, A(broad) in Education. If you haven’t listened to it, she created the podcast on a mission to (dis)cover routes (ro͞ots) through conscious conversations about EDPats. If you don’t know, EDPat is the term she used to describe expatriates working in education outside of their home countries. Much of her work has been influenced by her decade of domestic and international teaching experiences, which include the U.S., Morocco and the UAE.
So no surprise here, I thought, Tiffany would make a great guest. At the time of this recording, Tiffany was about to embark on a new journey abroad with a return to the United Arab Emirates. She had literally just completed her PhD in Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Her dissertation study focused on the transnational migration of Black American teachers in the UAE and understanding more fully their decisions to leave PK-12 schools in the U.S. Overall, much of Tiffany’s work focuses on identifying, addressing, and providing solutions for teacher retention and restoration.
And it is the context that was the backdrop for our conversation. Tiffany shares candidly about being raised in a working class family and the unlikely path that led her to an international career. She gets real about what happens when the honeymoon period wears off and what she decided to do next. Tiffany also unpacks why frustration led to the creation of her podcast and doors it has opened to help understand Black educator experiences abroad.
Tiffany is usually on the other side of the interviewing table But in this episode, you’ll hear just why you need to pass her the mic every now and then.
- How she entered the field of education after stating she would never do it
- What it means to have upward mobility for a first-generation student
- A chance meeting with a Brazilian woman that encouraged her to pursue international education
- The real challenges she faced during her first expat experience and the dichotomy between being seen as Black and American.
To hear the full episode, click below or listen wherever you get your podcasts.