Missing TEFL Teachers

One of the regularly updated teaching sites I follow is Tesall.com, where there are regular posts providing information about a couple of missing EFL teachers and details on how you can help. Obviously if you’ve seen the person in question you can help, but you can also help by sending letters or emails to the authorities in the countries at hand asking them politely to continue the search and letting them know that attention is still focused on these cases.

Missing are:

Ryan Chicovsky – missing from Laos or elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

Andy Lathrop – missing from Japan.

Fred Frontier – missing from Taiwan.

Also listed is Steven Cliff – search for this name as there seems to be no direct link to the page available.

Do local people ever go missing or need help? Of course. Are EFL teachers more important than others? No, of course not, but the TEFL Logue is a teaching site and in this way, these cases are relevant.

To be honest, I actually avoided looking at these posts on Tesall up to now. I’m pretty adventurous and I don’t scare easily…but EFL teachers going missing is just not something I like to think about. Do keep in mind there are four individuals featured here, out of the thousands (millions?) who go abroad to teach. Perhaps more people go missing at home even. My point is: don’t be dissuaded from going abroad because of this post.

Recent events in my own situation have, however, drawn my attention to the fact that as foreigners, often without the support of a large familiar organization, many EFL teachers are truly out there on their own. This is part of the experience, and a valuable part; I obviously don’t know the four teachers who are missing, and while it wouldn’t be rigth to make assumptions about their views…I do believe that valuing this independence is what leads people to get involved in pursuits like EFL.