It’s hard to believe that I’ve been in Singapore for a little over a week! Time has gone very quickly and I’ve accomplished quite a lot. In addition to learning my way around my very large school in Singapore, I’ve also met about 100 new teachers, made a whole lot of friends, set up an apartment, sorted out WiFi and cell phone, opened a bank account, and navigated shopping for household goods. I will be fully moved into my apartment tomorrow and I can’t wait!
School has been a lot to take in, of course. I’m teaching MYP and IBDP for the first time, which is my biggest concern now that my housing is taken care of. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, right? I’m teaching psychology again this year and trying to get back in that mindset. We haven’t spent very much time discussing curriculum, but I know it makes the most sense to do that in department groups anyway. The returning teachers are due back at school Monday, so I hope my questions will begin to be answered at that point. I have to keep reminding myself that even if my courses and curriculum are new to me, teaching is not. The subject material is not. Pedagogy and assessment are not. I still know how to teach in a way that helps students learn, and I’m good at it. It’s easy to lose sight of that when everything is new.
So far, life in Singapore is substantially easier than life in Malaysia. Being in a school that is actually set up as a school, as opposed to a business, makes it better. Being in a school that set up my immigration appointment for me (for Monday!) is both refreshing and a relief. Now that my personal life is sorted out, I can focus fully on three things: a) teaching, b) immersing myself in Singaporean culture, and c) finding my place here with new friends and colleagues.
As hard as it was to leave home again, especially because Mitch is there, I’m excited to have a real international teaching experience in a much healthier environment. I feel much more optimistic about everything coming up than I did even a week ago; I’m grateful to my new friends and school for helping me head in that direction.
This weekend promises to be full of moving, visiting friends’ apartments, drinking wine, and possibly watching fireworks. I’m definitely looking forward to it!
I’d just like to leave you with a few snapshots from the week: