Back on the other side

After a beautiful summer visiting my loved ones, enjoying northern Ontario fresh air and touristing around Europe, I’m now back on the other side of the world. I surely didn’t miss the pollution and the crowds of China, but Dongguan is now my second home. I was quite happy to return to my apartment, my classroom, my friends and my dear Qifeng Park!ย ๐Ÿ˜Š

I’m very excited for this upcoming year. I’m lucky enough to be teaching the same courses as last year (Secondary French and IB language B) at the International School of Dongguan. I actually just came back from Jakarta where I attended a professional development workshop for the course I teach. It was great to meet and exchange with other IB (International Baccalaureate) teachers from across Asia. I also got back into running a little more seriously. Thus, I decided to challenge myself and registered for my first ultra marathon, a 54km trail run around Lantau Island (Hong Kong) in December. Let’s see what I still got in me! And of course, I already have many traveling plans for my future holidays. This year should be as enjoyable as the previous one! ๐Ÿ˜„

Leaving home is never easy and I donโ€™t think it will never be. As much as I love to travel and live abroad, I always get emotional when it’s time to say goodbye. I’m at a stage in my life where my friends are getting married, having babies, buying new house while I’m planning where I’ll be living in a few months! It seems like everyone is settling down while I’m living my little life day by day on the other side of the world! Sometimes I do ask myself if I am doing it right. But you know what, thereโ€™s no ‘ideal’ way of living our life. As long as it makes us happy and helps us thrive as human beings, thatโ€™s the key. And well, that’s the case for me, for now.ย ๐Ÿ˜‰

One last thing, I know I haven’t been the best blogger in the last few months. I apologise for my laziness! I took the resolution of writing on a monthly basis. It’s my way of feeling connected to home but also keeping you updated on my upcoming adventures! โœˆ๏ธ

ๅ†่ง! ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป

Surrender to what is, let go of what was, have faith in what will be. ๐Ÿ’š

 

Teaching abroad: A newfound passion โค๏ธ

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! ๐Ÿ™‚


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! ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚ Its no surprise Im already secretly considering staying here for another year… โ˜บ๏ธ But for now, the focus is to survive the last stretch before Christmas. 3,2,1, here we go! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿป