THE BIG NEWS: I am moving to China!
I was contacted by a school in Chengdu at the end of November, but told them I would respond after winter break. When I followed up with an email, after researching the school and the city, I was very keen. It is an International Baccalaureate program school, which is very highly regarded around the world in the primary and secondary education market. In working abroad, I am firm in my decision to only teach at an IB World school, because their philosophy mirrors that of progressive ed; progressive ed is the exact opposite of the failed American system of Common Core Standards and “teach-to-test”, rather than “teach to think”. The IB system is an holistic education approach which emphasizes socio-emotional learning and inquiry-based curriculum; in other words, the IB considers the whole child, not just the part that sits at a desk all day, like in US public schools. Obviously, my philosophy is one of holism, too!
We had an interview scheduled for the middle of vacation, but it did not happen, due to a power outage, and thus, no wi-fi, on my interviewers side. We rescheduled for Wednesday, January 3rd, my first week back at school after winter break. I was interviewed by the PYP Director of the school, who told me I was his top choice for the position available in one of the 5- and 6-year-old classrooms. That was nice to hear!! He reiterated throughtout our 90-minute discussion that I was the teacher they sought after.
Within an hour of the interview ending, I had a job offer arrive in my Inbox!
So I told him I would think about it and get back with an answer quickly—they were seeking a start date of March. I sent a page-full of questions (literally), and he sent me contact info for two teachers at the school. I was satisfied with the answers, and more thrilled with the prospect, and then even more excited after I talked to the two teachers in China. The hurdle for me was the start date of March 5, which was not flexible, although they offered me another opening in September. Beginning in March would give me very little time to prepare to MOVE TO CHINA, as well as give my current school time to find a replacement. I was hoping for at least three months to ease out, work with my replacement, and most importantly to me: give my students time to adjust. But, my instinct said “Do this now!”, my research said “This is a fantastic opportunity!”, my goals/desires said “This is what you’ve been working toward!”... plus, the contract is generous, the school appears perfect for my teaching style... so I AM DOING IT! I’ve talked to 4 of my future co-workers, Chengdu is wonderful city, I’ve joined overseas FB groups to get more info, and ... Suffice to say I accepted the position Monday morning, told my co-teacher Monday afternoon (who was happy for me and fully supportive), informed our school’s (new) Director on Tuesday (who was also fully supportive and offered a congratulatory hug while exclaiming: “Great job manifesting, Gina!”), and made the announcement to the rest of the staff that Thursday at our weekly meeting.
Another serendipitous moment came when my replacement was hired within one hour of the staff meeting! Everything about this job offer and acceptance has been easeful: it is all happening smoothly. To me, this is another sign that I have made the right decision. Plus, my gut instinct has no tickling-naggling-weird warning signs going on. SERENDIPITY, once again! I have missed you, thank you for your reappearance in my life! And that is part my gratitude for the day: SERENDIPITY, along with a great opportunity, a great future, moving to China, and an unstressful departure from my current position! I am grateful for all of this, and more!
We are holding a parent meeting tonight, because we couldn’t schedule one any earlier. I’m feeling anxious about that; my parents trust me and I love their children. Thus far, I have felt only excitement about the job and move as I have been so busy with errands, phone calls, and paperwork to obtain a visa—I haven’t had time to feel sadness about my departure. Plus, it’s not like I’m leaving forever, I’ll always return to visit every few years, (but I hope I never, ever, ever have to live in the US again)!
Wow! I went from interview on Jan. 3, to acceptance on Jan. 8, final day at current school Jan. 26, and a departure date the last week of February (which as of today, is only 35 days—5 weeks!— away!! So much in 3 weeks!