I can’t believe it. Honestly, I can’t.
One week from today will be my last day teaching in Shanghai.
For the past three months I have never dreaded going to school. I have never been aggravated that I had to teach. I have never wanted to stay home. In the beginning, it didn’t even feel like “work”. It was like I was playing pretend in China. Then, after the newness wore off, it did feel like work, but in the best way possible. It felt like work because my students were accomplishing the goals that we set. Which means that they were actually learning what I taught them. Imagine that!!!
This is why next Friday will be a hard day. In three short months I have gotten to know my students better than I ever imagined. I have seen them take a few steps forward, then one back only to leap forward again. I have seen their confidence grow, and their abilities mature. I have seen light bulbs go off as student after student exclaims “Oooooooooohhhhh, I get it.” I have seen them walk in my classroom laughing and joking with friends, and I have seen them walk out of my classroom laughing and joking with friends. I have seen them walk in my classroom nervous, and I have seen them walk out of my classroom confident.
I have also met some amazing adults along the way. Did you know that teaching at international schools is the best kept secret in the world? These men and women get to travel all over the world to teach! They have taught on all 6 inhabited continents, and they all have stories to tell! I’m just glad that I discovered this little secret while I’m still young!!
Despite the glamor of teaching internationally, my fellow teachers have shown me that teaching is not easy. It is a profession that requires constant attention, and their day is never over when the bell rings. They have committed their lives to making our children better, and they are doing a darn good job. What’s more is they all realize there is more out there. They are constantly looking for new ideas and methods to engage the students inside and outside of the classroom, and I can tell that the students appreciate it.
I am writing this post a week before because I know next weekend will be insanely busy because it will be my last in this enormous city. Granted…I should be too busy right now, but I’m procrastinating. It is a habit I formed when I was in high school, so it’s appropriate that I continue to foster it while I teach high school.