Wednesday, February 20, 2008

So, what will I be doing?

I have had a lot of questions so far. So, I thought I'd answer them here.

When do I leave? I will leave in mid August this year. It will come fast!

How long will I be in Beijing? I signed a two-year contract, so I will be there at least two years. Many teachers sign a new contract when the first two years are up. I'll decide that later.

What exactly will I be teaching? I will have a first grade class in an international school. I will teach reading, writing, math, science, social studies, etc. The kids will also have a Mandarin teacher, a P.E. teacher, a music teacher, and an art teacher. They will get Mandarin instruction every day and P.E., music, and art twice each six-day cycle. When the kids go to these other classes, I have time to prep and collaborate with the first grade team. The kids also get library and computer time.

Do the kids speak English? Yes! There will be a few English Language Learners but the kids have to have a foreign passport in order to enroll. So that means that I may have kids who are Chinese or half Chinese as long as they have a passport from somewhere else. I will also have kids from all over the world.

Will you live on an American settlement? (Cute Audrey.) The school provides an apartment for me. After the first year, they give a housing allowance and I can choose where I want to live.

Will you be there during the Olympics? Yes! I will arrive right in the middle! I don't know if I'll be able to actually go see any events, but I will be there!

I hope that gives you all a little more information about what I will actually be doing. Send me some more questions and I will let you know more info as soon as I find out myself!


Monday, February 18, 2008

The Job Fair

First post! Woo! I have to try to keep up with my brothers and their blogging. This is my first, so I will do my best.

I have been looking at different schools in many countries since around October 2007. This weekend was the job fair. I flew out to Boston (extra perk: I got to see my friend Leah) to attend the job fair. I had heard that it is pretty crazy. Lots of schools, lots of candidates looking for jobs, and many interviews. I had thought that because I haven't taught overseas before that I might not get very many offers. I had already had a couple phone interviews and one interview in San Francisco with a school in Beijing. I felt pretty good about that school and I was fairly confident that I would get an offer from them. I ended up interviewing with schools in Beijing, Manila, Abu Dhabi, two in Venezuela, Colombia, Buenos Aires, and Frankfurt. Very soon I had five offers to teach either first or second grade in Beijing, Manila, Maracaibo and Caracas, Venezuela, and Abu Dhabi. I started turning down offers to interview from Austria, Korea, Chile, Jordan, Israel, London, Hong Kong, Egypt, and others. All of this happened between noon on Friday and 3pm on Saturday. By about 4:30pm on Saturday, I had narrowed my choices to Manila and Beijing. (Thanks to everyone who tried to help by responding to my text messages and phone calls to help me decide. Unfortunately, you all were no help! Everyone thought I should go different places!) I finally made the decision around 5pm-ish to accept the offer to teach first grade at International School Beijing. When I told them, they gave me hugs and took me out for a drink to celebrate while we filled out the paperwork. I will be in Beijing for at least 2 years, as it is a 2 year contract. After that, I have no idea where I will be. Possibly staying in Beijing longer, possibly moving on to another country to teach, and possibly coming back to California. Although, the first two choices sound more appealing to me at this time.

Now that the stress of not knowing where I will end up is over, I have the stress of getting ready to leave! It is a much better kind of stress though as it is more excitement than indecision. Through this blog, I will keep you posted on the activities to get ready to move, including trying to learn some Mandarin, and once I have moved. I plan to do a lot of traveling while in China so look out for adventurous stories and pictures to be included.

I would love emails and comments and visits from friends and family.