“Every ending is a new beginning”
On May 30th, my contract with Chatteris Educational Foundation has ended in Hong Kong. It was a bittersweet feeling counting to the final days. On one hand, I loved my job and the students and I know, no doubt, that I will miss it. Yet, on the other hand, I felt it was time to move on. I was ready for new beginnings and to learn something new in a different company.
My last nine months at the Institute of Vocational Education (IVE) has truly been a blessing. My title was a Program Coordinator and indeed, I was in charge of planning and facilitating English activities on campus. Not only did I had an opportunity to make and teach linguistic and cultural workshops, I was able to create fun and exciting events on campus (ex. arts and crafts). I also helped students with their assignments, speaking presentations and IELTS to prove their English proficiency for university admissions. While doing all these activities, the most rewarding outcome must be the relationship that was built with the students (especially with young adults). Most of these students were 18-20 years old, and I can relate to them very closely to myself in the struggles and confusion they may have as a young adult. I learned so much about the Hong Kong culture (what they liked, what they do not like, traditions, and customs) as well as the tedious educational system in place here. The pressure in everyday life, and long working hours were real. It was a race to the top of the ladder and I was given the opportunity to see it both first handily and on the sidelines.
Once again, working in a school proved to be a good decision for my self-growth. While I watched students learn and even support them on their path to learning, I found myself becoming more curious of how education functions in a global society. I enjoyed being surrounded by so many young and bright, curious minds, yet I was ready to move out of the teaching path.
Last November, after three months of living in Hong Kong, I was determined to find a new job in the field of education for the next upcoming year. I started my job search early so I knew how to plan and prepare myself for the 2015- 2016 year. In the past, when my contract ends in May/ June, I would go home for the summer months and restart in a new country in a different school in September.
This year was going to be different.
I currently work for a local tutor centre as an Education Coordinator. In my role, I make/ edit lesson plans, coordinate summer programs, and work with foreign teachers in providing their schedules and training. I do a lot of overseeing and backend work, while occasional teaching writing courses for primary students. From working in a public system for three years in different countries to shifting into a private educational institute, I’m now shadowing and understanding how a tutor centre runs and facilitating in between both the admin and teacher teams.
To top it off, I made a decision that I am still in disbelief today. I will be starting my Masters of Education in Youth Studies at the Hong Kong University part-time in September. The program runs for a minimum of two years and it was a decision I had to make within a 10-day grace period, in addition to a large sum of money as a deposit. It still frightens me every time I think about it, and whether I’ll be able to manage both my full-time work and part-time school at the same time.
It’s strange that I have not left a place after 10 months of living here. It’s even more frightening and odd to know that I’ll be here for at least another two years in Hong Kong. The weather is heating up, and the air quality is only getting worse. Yet, I’m excited for all these new challenges, and positive changes in my life.
It’s going to be an interesting year but that’s what life is all about, right?
Everyone has a story.
This is mine.