This week I have a holiday, due to my students having their mid-term exams. So my parents are visiting and I’m giving them a tour of Beijing and some of its many tourist sights. At the same time, I have to decide about next year. One of the universities I interviewed at recently, gave me today as a deadline for confirming or not whether I wanted the position.
After much deliberation and discussion with my folks, and friends, I decided to take the plunge and agree to the new position. That means that I will take the position and leave RDFZ at the end of June.
This was not a decision made lightly, but looking at the new contract for here that was sent last night, there are some additions which sit, well , somewhat uncomfortably. So whilst a few doubts still exist regarding the risk I am taking, in the light of day, it does seem to be not as scary as perhaps it did seem yesterday. It seems that no one will be staying here next year. Which sucks for the school and especially the students…. but perhaps is not wholly surprising given what has happened this year.
I think perhaps that it is actually a good thing for the school insofar as it would allow a fresh team to come in and be fashioned into the way that the school wants it to be like – that is, there is no baggage with them. Even those of us who do enjoy (usually) teaching and working at the school, would still have baggage from this year to deal with. An entirely new team would not have that. And so, with a heavy heart, I have to inform the school that next year there will not be anyone returning. I was, I fear, last man standing. And now I’m not. I think if I returned and surveyed the foreign teacher team in, say, 5 years here (if they still have an FT team by then), it might all be a well-functioning machine, and be successful, as it seemed to be under the American team, before us Brits arrived.
For me, the next stage is working to the end of term, planning and delivering student exams, and preparing to move on. This place will be missed and I have many memories of it; it will be the end of an era. But now, the next stage has arrived, the next part of the adventure…..