Change and planning for the future

We are rapidly approaching the end of term. The students’ all have mid-terms next week, so we have almost a full week off. And our final exams will be at the end of May, as the students get given back to their Chinese teachers in June.

There has been some discussion recently internally about salary and wages and this is sorted, for the most part, now. I get a (small) increase in salary next year. It will be good to have a bit more cash, though still less than in the UK (though cost of living here is very cheap). Me and another teacher were even planning next year’s living arrangement, and what we want in our shared flat.

This teacher, whom I get on very well with, is something of a kindrid spirit. Today, he had an interview at a top university in China (in Beijing), and it seems to have gone well. I’m happy for him, even if it means he will leave and the dynamic next year will change. But it does raise the age-old question, that I ask a lot anyway…. mainly, what about me?

I need to start thinking about what I want to do next. I’ve signed up here for next year, and, unless this university also offers me something (unlikely since, A) I haven’t applied, though the head of department did tell this teacher to pass along details of other teachers; and B) you need a Masters in TEFL/TESOL, which I don’t have – I don’t know if my other qualifications would be relevant or not), I will be here for the next year. We both said that we’d use this as a two-year thing. If you want to work for most jobs (and certainly the British Council), you need two years’ experience and at least a CELTA, so we were going to do that and then see. I have subscribed to British Council website for jobs and they have lots of interesting stuff on there.

I originally came over here to work on Chinese. I’m still trying to do that. There is a Chinese Government Scholarship scheme whereby any member of the EU can go and study in China. The Chinese language scholarship is only up to age 25, so I’m too old for that. However, there is a senior scholar programme, which I would be eligible for. Basically, you spend a year learning Chinese and a year doing research. I’m not sure that long-term I want to do lots of research in China, but would mean, at least, my Chinese would improve and could then use that as a stepping stone…. At least this is what I’ve often said. If the UK votes to leave the EU in June, that will no longer be available. Then…. I will probably look at British Council stuff. I am conscious I am not getting any younger and whilst there is life in the old dog yet, and there was an interesting job I saw on British Council recently, and I’d be content to do that, I’m sure (I enjoy teaching here, for the most part), I’d have to weigh up options and see what happens. I got approached about a couple of jobs on LinkedIn too, so they might be worth exploring.

I will be back in UK for the summer, anyway, so I should know more about the situation with EU etc then. And just keep ploughing on, plugging away at things, and see what happens.

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