Joined 14 years ago from New Zealand
I started out in Auckland, New Zealand, a good time to be a New Zealander. At the time we were supposedly the best country to live in, but in the 80’s that all changed. We dropped dramatically and anyone who could leave left for greener pastures overseas. I ended up as an Exchange Student at Minnesota - St. Paul University. There I thought I was going to save the world so I took a block course on “Education Extension in Developing Countries” It was quite an eye opener about how you could teach people with no teaching materials. After playing around in the USA for a few more years it was time to head down into Mexico and start to save the world. In Mexico City I started learning Spanish at the Universdad Da Mexico City and teaching English in a small private school. Learning Spanish wasn’t too good but teaching English was. I was fascinated by the magic aura of big cities, and Mexico City at that time was one of the biggest. Then it was back to civilization for a few years, but the lure of developing countries and trying to save the world was still in my blood. So in the early 1990’s I crashed in Jember in Indonesia and it was a beautiful place, relaxed and laid back. Mind you that was before the place went mad and I could never understand why. Asia was now firmly planted in my blood and the Middle Kingdom was calling so it was an easy hop to Hong Kong. Hong Kong before the Handover was screaming out for teachers, anyone would do. Here I was stuck in a big modern city, but I paid the price in stress and crowded living. I loved it all the same, and to get away from the crowds and the pressure all it took was a jump across the border. We all had to leave after HK went back to China so it was onto China. This was China before it went economically mad and they were screaming out for teachers. So it was back to a developing country but this country was developing into an economical powerhouse that would influence the world for years to come. Anyway to tackle the adult students --who were all learning English so they could immigrate to a better life, only to realize if they had stayed in China they would be in the top of their fields -- we were teaching everything from beginner to advanced and everything in between. They were the good old days and at that time it was all adult students. We were surrounded by friends who would always help you when you needed it. With all this feverish study going on all around me I caught the bug and in 2002 ended up back at University in little old New Zealand as a very adult student. This time doing a “Graduate Diploma In Adult Teaching and Learning” at Massey U with a major in ESL. The only trouble was after I came back to China in 2005 the adult teaching market had collapsed and was being replaced by kindergarten and primary school. So it was onto teaching kids and this wasn’t so bad. To help the kids I had to learn new things and this is where I was first introduced to the “Montessori Method of Teaching.” I tried it out and it was so successful I never looked back. Now all I teach is kindergarten and primary school, the adult market has collapsed.With the Middle Kingdom heading for superpower status it is now fast churning out traffic-jammed mega-cities, clouded in pollution. It is getting too difficult to get to the schools. I spend most of my life in traffic jams and endless queues at the supermarket and every morning I wait for the pollution cloud to lift. So it was time to find something else to bring in the daily bread.
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