Thoughts of an Expat Teacher

Carl the Assistant Groundskeeper…Playing at a United Airlines Flight near you

Reader, below are some slapdash thoughts of mine. None are worthy of a blog posting so bear with me.


I am reading E.B. White recently. I can appreciate how he was able to simplify the complex using the plainest of language. His prose is not nearly as simple as people claim. He wrote an awful lot about the Cold War and Fascism. He also wrote a lot about a pig.

The first days of school are not the most interesting but they are crucial in developing a mindful learning space. The routines are in place and the class is shaping up wonderfully. This pleases me no end.

Each August, the international school takes on a different vibe. My current school feels a smidgen less intensely stressful this year. I am not sure it this will last but it is a welcome change.

Being overseas, one makes sacrifices. Missing your dad’s 75th birthday is one that is much too great.

Students are a teacher’s best friend when it comes to developing a positive reputation. People generally, and with good reason, trust the opinions of children. The students tell it like it is and they are credible.. This year, the word is out that I am a good guy. This helps me immensely in honing my craft.

Twitter is a little slice of teacher heaven. I have learned so much already from Twitter that I do not know now what I would do without it. My job is infinitely more interesting now that I can connect with like-minded educators from around the globe. That said, I do think about the digital divide and wonder how I can have a more balanced engagement with teachers from impoverished lands.

Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood is the only book that I have ever read that made me actually shiver. It is still the finest book that I have ever read. Capote left me in awe of what one can do with words.

Each year I try to set a variety of personal and professional goals.  This year, I hope to start a family with my wife. We wed four years ago and we are finally settled and financially secure to raise a baby. It is an exciting time.

As a bibliophile, I wonder how the wired revolution is affecting children’s enjoyment of literature. I read differing views on the subject and all sides are compelling. My students today read much more than when I was a kid. I attribute that to J.K. Rowling more than anything else. Her books “upped the ante” for children’s literature.

A pint and a half of Guinness is my current limit. Anything more is overkill and not pleasurable.

I hope to live in the country someday. I long for clean air, animals to tend, and a less hectic lifestyle. A farm outside of Kyoto, Japan is our latest dream. Something tells me we will make it happen. I will also settle for Tasmania.

Flying United Airlines from Hong Kong to Boston and back is absolutely dreadful. However, may most recent flights were not nearly as brutal as expected. I try not to watch the in-flight movies but this time they showed The Three Idiots and Caddyshack. I was impressed actually.

It is shocking how much 4th graders grow intellectually in nine months. Also, as I age, it is shocking how fast each school year flies by.

That is enough for now, thanks for reading and have a great year. Teach those under your wing with a uniquely personal passion for your craft. This will serve you well.





















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