Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Tonight is the last night of orientation for the grand US adventure. It's also been the longest day with workshops all day long. It's not going to be fun to pack up and drive off into the unknown tomorrow, but at the same time I am looking forward to it!! So... happy driving and flying and all the rest of it to all my new colleagues!!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
This week I am being oriented on how to be a US teacher (never mind the fact that I have been teaching in the US based international system for 9 years). And while most of it is simple review and feels like time well wasted (although it never is because I am reminded of stuff I forgot and so on), I am learning new things about living in the US. In most international postings, the schools take care of finding you a place to live, helping you move in and all the general set up of bank accounts, alien registration cards, driver's licenses, car insurance and so on. I assume (yes, I know what happens when you assume) that this is mostly due to cultural differences in dealing with business transactions and the obvious language barrier. But here in the US of A, you need to do a lot of that stuff on your own. I am currently laden down with heaps of paperwork and forms to fill out and offices to visit to get more forms filled out so that I can get cards to verify car, health and all kinds of other documentation and insurances. It seems daunting but the people at this orientation have been helpful guides. It's funny that this time around, I speak the language of my new host country and yet, I do not. The language of business, forms and so on is not English... and I am sure in Korea, it is not Korean... and in China it is not Chinese... and the list goes on. Instead, it is simply legalese which is no language and yet and language unto itself. And that is my thoughts on that!!
Monday, July 28, 2008
Well, I guess this is the beginning of my new blog. In days gone by I kept (in the loosest sense of the word) a blog just about my life. It was unfocused and difficult for me to concentrate on and keep up. So now, I am beginning a new chapter in my life (just another new job people, nothing too thrilling) and I thought it was time for a new blog. I am a teacher and sometimes to do this job you have to be as crazy as I look in that picture. You need the rose coloured glasses from time to time as well, to remind you that the way you see things isn't the way they always are in reality.
This blog is going to have entries about my life as an international teacher. So I guess I better let you know what qualifies me to write about it. Well, I have been teaching professionally for the past 10 years now. My first year was my last year teaching in my home country of Canada. Immediately after that first year, I moved to Korea for 3 years, then to Oman for a year, then back to Korea for 5 more years and now I have moved to the USA for my current position. Some of you may not consider the US a truly international experience, but for me it is... you see, I am from the west coast of Canada and I am being posted on the South East coast of the US. YIPES!! It really is like a different world.
Currently, the group of people who found me the job and organized my visa are putting me and about 169 other international teachers through an orientation to prepare us for the task ahead: US public schools. As I've been meeting these teachers from Argentina, UK, Scotland, Canada and so on, I've been learning that we international teachers have a unique perspective on the world and the children in that world. We also bring something unique to our classrooms through our experiences and my hope is to share that here with whoever wants to read it... and if that's no one, that's cool... I will also share some stories of my past experiences with students from all over the world and across the grade levels. I've done and seen some wild things in the classroom, so it should be fun. So... STAY TUNED!!