So this year we decided to leave Shanghai.
Originally, when I was offered the job, we planned to be overseas for a year. We thought we would get a break from the UK and try to pay off some debts. Once we arrived, even through the shadows of my extreme homesickness, I could see what an amazing opportunity this could be for our family.
In the two school years that we have working in China, we have paid off our debts (with the exception of the mortgage) had several amazing holidays to Thailand, Vietnam, Dubai, Hong Kong and Beijing and we have bought ourselves some of the items we have always wanted. A real highlight, and an eye opener, last year, was being able to pay for an iMac in cash and still have enough money for a trip to Bejiing out of our monthly wage.
It isn’t just about the money. But a certain level of income has bought us a freedom from the struggles and worries we previously had.
Money and holidays aside, suddenly, Mr Chadd and I also now have time. Time together, time with the kids and time to have fun with our teaching again. As a famous advert would say: this time is priceless. It would be very difficult, and perhaps foolish, to intentionally give this up.
This all meant that our original plan of being away for a year has now turned into 4 years or maybe 6. We have been lucky enough to be able to continue our adventure in Bangkok so will be moving to a new school there in August.
It has been interesting to learn more about the application process for jobs from within the international community instead of from outside it.
Things I didn’t know last time:
- Lots of jobs appear on TES but most international teachers use Search Associates. This provides a more bespoke job search and a lot of schools will only recruit using this method.
- If you are in demand you can negotiate. I wouldn’t have dared last time but some of my colleagues have done very well using this strategy.
- It is a small community and reputation is everything. But that goes just as much for the schools as for individual staff. If a school is badly run and staff aren’t happy, word soon gets around.
- Sadly it is totally normal to not hear anything from a school. I would possibly expect this after application but it’s also after an interview. Even when pushed, for my friend, they wouldn’t give her a yes or a no.
In a stark contrast to when we moved out to China, we can access a lot of information about Bangkok online. Whilst we have been to Thailand a couple of times, we haven’t actually been to Bangkok so we have been scouring YouTube for vlogs on living in the city. To say we are excited is an understatement!
I am hoping to post more blogs about our time in Bangkok.