I noticed, perhaps too late, that I had never detailed what my adventure is. I have made allusions to it in other posts, but nowhere do I properly explain what is happening. So here is everything in one place:
I leave August 21st for Shanghai where I will be teaching at a high school that is ranked among the best in China. (So that I can be more open in this space and to maintain some anonymity, I will not state which school). The students at the school receive all of their instruction in English with the exception of their Chinese-language class. About half of the teachers are American with the other half being mostly British, Australian, and Canadian–so I should have a reasonable foundation for a social life. The students all expect to earn their way into the best universities in the world and for some reason, the school thought that I could help them get there. I will be teaching 9th and 10th-grade history.
My contract is for one school year, but that can be extended at the end of the year if I like the school and the school likes me. The school pays approximately what I would be making if I was working as a first-year teacher in the States if you include the fact that the school will provide me with housing and utilities in one of the most expensive cities to live in!
Shanghai is a massive city of 24 million people; my home state of California has 38 million. Only about 2% of the city’s population is foreign-born, but that still accounts for almost half a million people!
I got this job by attending a job fair in New York City in February. I was by far the youngest and least experienced person at the conference, but I interviewed well and the school was looking for a teacher who can bring new ideas into the department about how the students can focus more on critical thinking and problem solving than memorization of dates, events, people, and concepts. Even though I haven’t much formal experience teaching, they liked what I had to say and decided to take a chance on me. An opportunity for which I am already extraordinarily grateful. I am not throwing away my shot.
I went to the conference because I wanted to teach abroad. And I strongly feel that I have a unique window that is open to me right now that may not be available to me later in life. I am single and at the beginning of my career, so the flexibility to move to another country will probably never be greater.
I have also wanted to live in another country for as long as I can remember. Not just to travel, but to live and immerse myself in another country. I want to feel foreign; like a perpetual outsider. I want to see how a different culture creates different people.
I want to expand my vision of what reality is.