Posts Tagged ‘education’

I have decided to take my teaching skills to China. No, I don’t know how to speak Mandarin. No, I don’t know how to use chopsticks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have LeBron James-sed it for about a month. I have been courted by a few schools in China over the past few weeks. I whittled the choice to two schools, which I spoke about in my last blog post. I received a contract and told my recruiter that I could be in China by February 24. The school is well established and the recruiter was professional. The school has a Facebook page and teacher testimonial videos.

All these things make it the safest pick. However, my gut/instincts/Spidey Sense has been tingling. I am not sure if I’ve made the right decision with this school. I still favor the smaller kindergarten that is in the process of revising their contract to meet my specifications. The difference in pay is about 3,000 rmb (6000 rmb and 9,000 rmb) and I have been speaking directly with the manager/head teacher and co-managers. After agreeing to sign a contract with the more established school (I have not signed a contract.), I felt like a number and not an employee. The school has 19 foreign teachers and who knows how many will join me as new teachers in a much larger school.

The kindergarten would consist of myself two Canadians, two Chinese managers and the guy I’ve been dealing with Keith, who’s an American from Arizona. I know it’s a small operation because I was asked to change my arrival date because it was after opening day. He said it would be hectic and “logistics would be difficult”. I’m fully expecting one of the managers to pick me up from the airport. I have no fear of arriving in China and experiencing culture shock. However, I would like the singular attention of a close knit group willing to show me the way. Half of my reasoning for signing with the more established school, is their ability to outline specifics in the contract and their web presence. But I don’t think that necessarily makes them better. I went to a smaller high school and still have that underdog mentality. I played football and basketball locally. My best friend and I always had to prove ourselves to the bigger local schools on the field of play.

But that’s besides the point. I try to follow my instincts (sometimes to my detriment, especially when it comes to the opposite sex) and something didn’t feel/sit right with me after I received my welcome email from the recruiter. I’m going to think it over one more day and make a choice. I don’t take this life-changing move to China lightly. Ultimately, I’m beholden to no recruiter, school or manager. I have to make the best choice for myself. It’s been a long journey. I recognize my anxieties and warranted and unwarranted concerns. In my Army leadership training,  you’re taught to gather the necessary facts and opinions of experts in the field. You then outline three courses of action. One possible, another possible and an alternate course of action should be presented when planning any movement.

I have done exactly that. As of this writing, I have weighed the characteristics of each school, walked through possible scenarios involving payment of salary, industries in the area and exit strategies. My brain is wired like this unfortunately. I could give presentations on both cities to include population, weather and culture, forum comments on the school and comparable teacher salaries in the area. I’m anal like that. But back to my gut, I get about 85 percent from “gut feelings” and I usually make choices based on that feeling. I’ll use today to weigh the two schools one final time and make a solid decision. I’m almost there, literally less than six to seven weeks away. Let’s do it.