My second year at ISD

I was very fortunate in August 2016 to get offered a teaching position at the International School of Dongguan. As my first teaching abroad employment, I had no idea what to expect nor if it was suitable for me. But as always, I followed my adventurous instinct, signed the contract and jumped on a plane to China! Well 2 years later I can tell you it was a good move: I am now an IB certified French and English teacher, I have taught to wonderful, smart cookies, I have developed close relationships with amazing colleagues and I have travelled in and out of China for school trips, conferences and workshops. Oh, and I was also getting paid to do all of this! 😉 My second year at ISD was definitely as busy and as exciting as the first one. Here are a few of my highlights:

*I had the chance to teach the same classes as last year: Secondary School French, IB French B and IB English B (’B’ meaning ‘as a second language’), which gave me the opportunity to tweak my lesson plans of last year in order to improve my teaching. I was also lucky to go to Jakarta in October for my second IB training workshop for the courses I teach. I hope one day I will pursue my career as an IB educator. As much as it is a rigorous program for the students (and teachers!) it is a curriculum that I have very enjoyed teaching.

*This year, I wanted to get more involve into the school life, so I took charge of our StuCo (Student Council). I have been very fortunate to be working with a group of 20 dedicated students (not bad for a small school!). We have organized several activities and fundraising events throughout the year to promote our school spirit. It brought me many souvenirs of my good old days when I was a member of the ‘Parlement Étudiant’ at my high school. We are currently planning our biggest event of the year: The Prom!

*With the initiative of one of my Canadian fellow colleague, we created ISD’s first swim team! We were able to gather 5 courageous swimmers so far this year and I’m positive that the team will continue to grow. It was great to be back on a pool deck, and of course it was the perfect opportunity to start swimming again!

*Finally, last month I had the chance to accompanying the grade 8 to 12 to their Week Without Walls (annual field trip where students get to visit a new region of China while discovering new outdoors and cultural activities). This year we spent one exciting and busy week in the province of Sichuan exploring the city of Chengdu and its surrounding. Camping, via ferrata, canyon hiking, tea plantations visit, hot pot dinner, mask changing opera, we definitely had the full Sichuan experience! It’s always a pleasure to be interacting with the students in a non-classroom setting while watching them getting out of their comfort zone and learning new skills. Everyone get to see a different side of each other. It’s a great bonding experience!

Now off I go into the last stretch of the school year! I cannot believe in less than two months I’ll be packing my bags to leave my beautiful adoptive city of Dongguan. Whether it was at work, in my social life or in my many travels, I believe I definitely made the most of my time here. You may wonder what’s next for me? Well I am still in the process of planning my next adventure, but I’ll give you one hint: I’m heading for the only continent I haven’t visited yet… 😉 (and no, Antartica doesn’t count!)

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Week Without Wall fun!

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! 😊

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! 😄

Leaving home is never easy and I don’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, there’s no ‘ideal’ way of living our life. As long as it makes us happy and helps us thrive as human beings, that’s the key. And well, that’s the case for me, for now. 😉

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! ✈️

再见! 👋🏻

Surrender to what is, let go of what was, have faith in what will be. 💚