I loved my job. I did. I loved my students and my colleagues and where I worked. But when I realized that I needed additional, varied teaching experience to move up in my field, I began applying for jobs abroad. It took a deep examination of my ambitions and my life’s trajectory to truly make leaving my job, and my home country, an option.
I applied to jobs in China, South Korea, and a few Spanish-speaking countries. I picked places where I know a few people and where I wanted to know the language. Most of my applications were in China, though, because there’s a greater need for English teachers there.
After all the applications, I had three interviews, three job offers, and I picked the one I really wanted. I’ve never gotten to do that before. Not even close. Jobs are hard to find, even as a qualified, experienced teacher. Three years ago I was laid off. This is a complete 180º. I couldn’t be more grateful.
My job at XJTLU brings me closer to meeting personal, professional, and academic goals. It brings to the edge of my comfort zone. It also brings me closer to many students I’ve met through my years of teaching in the U.S. I’m really excited to be able to get to know China, its culture, the people, and the language.
The biggest part of my decision to take this job was allowing myself to pursue my dreams, to let go of what I already know in favor of the unknown, and to use the courage I’ve nurtured through various challenges to now choose my challenge.