Who would have thought? After retiring to Thailand almost three years ago, I thought my teaching days were over! But it was not to be… I was invited to teach Digital Media Arts at Maple Leaf International School – Tianjin TEDA for four months and I accepted. This month my latest Chinese stint comes to an end.
On Saturday, I said good-bye to another group of Maple Leaf Grade 12 students. Although I only was able to get to know a few of them, it was still another great Chinese experience. They really are a wonderful bunch of kids to work with, whether it is for six years or only four months. And the staff was also a fun bunch of people to work and party with!
People have no idea what a big deal it is for these kids to graduate from Maple Leaf and set out into the world. Most are from single child families and most have never left China before. As they head off to foreign countries thousands of miles away from families and friends, this is an exciting but scary time for all of them.
But history tells us that they will do well. The reputation of the Maple Leaf system is becoming well-known by many schools and universities. Over a hundred universities travel to China each year to recruit these students from our various campuses around China. Yes, it is a financial windfall for many of them to have international students at their institutions but they also know from past history that these kids will probably excel wherever they go.
So I would like to wish them all success in whatever path they choose to follow as they head out to their chosen universities this summer. It has been a privilege to teach them here in Tianjin for the last four months and in Wuhan for the six years I was there. Watch out North America and the rest of the world…I’m sure many of them will be making a big impact in their own way in the years to come!
In three weeks, we move to Arequipa, Peru, where I will attempt to retire again and continue to write for International Living Magazine. More info coming soon!