I’m proud to say that I’m officially happy with the spontaneous decision I took last August when I signed a one year contract with the International School of Dongguan (ISD). Not only I had absolutely no idea where Dongguan was, but my knowledge of China was quite limited (i knew it was a big country with lots of people that eat rice…!) but there was something about that school and the position that caught my curiosity. It was a gamble. Making a big life change is pretty scary. But, what’s even scarier? Regret. Thus, I took a deep breath, signed my life away, packed my bags and left home for this unknown world of teaching abroad. Here I am, 3 months later, happier than ever! 🙂
ISD is a young, vibrant school that opened its doors in 2012. Today, it has now 330 students from kindergarten to grade 12. For myself, I’m teaching French and English as a second language at the secondary level. I also have the chance to teach the International Baccalaureate to the grade 11 and 12, a rigid program to teach but very enriching at the same time. Thankfully my classes are quite small which make my work a little less stressful! 🙂 And not to mentioned that my students are also extremely disciplined and responsible! I haven’t much to complain, really!
In a few months only, the school has already offered me some great traveling and professional development opportunities. Early September, I was sent to Bangkok for an IB workshop. I spent three busy three days in the Thai capital learning how to teach my program (French/English as a second language). It was a very intense but extremely useful course as I had no prior knowledge at all of the IB program. I came back to Dongguan more confident, with a head full of new ideas and resources, oh and a desire to come back to Thailand one day! 3 days was such a tease!
Two weeks ago, I also had the chance to accompany the grade 6 and 7 on their Week Without Walls. The WWW is a yearly field trip organised by the school where the upper school students spend a few days in a rural village doing some community services (we helped cleaning an elders home and gave a hand to a local farm), while engaging in new outdoors activities (camping, rock climbing, cycling, hiking, kayaking). It’s a great opportunity for the kids to learn new skills while bonding with their peers and teachers outside the classroom setting.
One sure thing, ISD knows how to keep its students and staff busy, and most importantly, happy! 🙂 Its no surprise Im already secretly considering staying here for another year… ☺️ But for now, the focus is to survive the last stretch before Christmas. 3,2,1, here we go! 👍🏻