Friday, June 28, 2013

School's Out for Summer

And for the nineteenth year in a row, the school year has ended and my days will be substantially freer until fall. I really don’t like Alice Cooper too much, but I’m glad someone wrote a song about this incredible feeling that one gets as s/he walks out the school doors for the last time of the year. I don’t need to explain it; every person reading this surely knows exactly what I’m talking about. It’s absolutely no different when you are a teacher. 

During this upcoming week, the first of my summer holiday, I will celebrate Sharman’s birthday and my own two-year anniversary of living in Hong Kong. To answer the question that American friends ask me frequently, no, I have no plans to return to the US anytime particularly soon, believe it or not. It’s staggering to think how two years ago when I was preparing to come here, I was very careful to make sure that I would be allowed to leave my job after one year if I wanted to. I remember distinctly thinking, ‘Two years is a really long time, and I’m not sure I want to commit to that right away.’ Lo and behold, two years (albeit two jobs) has gone quicker than I could’ve ever imagined! Really. 

This school year has been better than the first, which wasn't too bad in itself. Initially, I was excited about the close location to my apartment, working with older children and no school on Saturdays. Those aspects have indeed been a huge plus, but beyond that, I’ve worked with incredible colleagues and have become much more confident and skilled as a teacher. That being said, my job is only as a teaching assistant and I do less formal teaching than giving individual help around the class. But still, I’ve felt challenged, increasingly well-rounded and more sure of myself as I continue to pursue work in the teaching field. In the upcoming year, depending on how the die rolls, I may begin taking courses in a teacher certification program here in Hong Kong. I won’t say too much on that though, as it’s miles from being official. One thing that is official, however, is my position as ‘library coordinator’ for next year in addition to my TA position. I’ll use my four years of experience in the PLU library to get those Dr. Seuss books in order :) 

But before I return to work in late August, I've got a decent handful of things to do. Mainly, I plan to a) tutor as many children as I can, b) record another EP, c) read a lot more than I have been recently and d) go to Ireland and the UK with Sharman and my parents. Obviously, I’m looking forward to the big trip the most but no need to say too much about that while it’s still a month away. It’ll be strange not getting up at 6:10 every morning to go to work, but I think I’ll be able to cope with that. My only complaint is this brutal Hong Kong heat. Good thing I have air conditioning and a swimming pool!

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