Wednesday, May 4, 2011

It's time to make it public

As international teachers, Erin and I spend a good bit of time moving from school to school. Typically, these gigs run for a two year contract period before you have the option to renew, or move on.

Because of these nomadic tendencies, and because we want out current students to feel that we are 100% committed to them until our last day of school (because we are!), we try to keep our plans for next year under wraps. Which, would include not mentioning anything on this public blog.

However, the cat is out of the bag. Today, Erin found out that several students have discovered our plans, and so tomorrow we will be officially announcing that we will not be in Turkey next year.

We'll be in (drum roll.........) St. Martin!

Nope, just kidding.

It's actually a place and school that excites us even more than the French Caribbean. We are extremely pleased to have accepted positions in South Korea with the Chadwick International School.

Chadwick Int. is a brand new school located in Songdo City, about 45 minutes outside of Seoul. The school itself is a 2nd campus of a school that is located in California, in Palos Verdes. Chadwick in California is a school that I have known about for many years; many Outward Bound staff work in their well respected and accredited outdoor education program during the slow seasons at OB. They have an excellent reputation as being a leader in outdoor education, character education, and experiential education. Additionally, they have been around for a 75 years, and have an outstanding academic record.

Over the past few years, I've often said to myself, "Man, teaching overseas is great, but I really want to be at a school that embraces outdoor/experiential education. Like, a Chadwick Overseas school, would be great. But, alas, they only operate in California, and I'm just not ready to be back in the states." So, it was with the utmost care that I picked up my jaw as it had fallen to the floor last December when I read the postings for a brand new campus of Chadwick, that was opening in Korea.

Applications were quickly sent, interviews were conducted over Skype (where we did less interviewing and more finishing of each others' thoughts with the admin), jobs were offered, contracts negotiated, and today we sent off our requests for our flights from Atlanta to Seoul, August 1!!!!

Erin will be teaching 8th grade English, and I will be teaching 7th grade History. The school will be in it's second year next year, and will have just added the 8th grade, as it slowly adds one grade a year until reaching K-12 status. This fact is another very exciting one, we get to be a part of something new. We get to create a new school (but with the help of 75 years of experience from our campus in CA). Perfect. Not only that, but this is a a place where character education is of MORE importance that academic performance. The Assistant Head, in our interview, said something to the extent of...Yeah, it's great if our kids get into Ivy League schools, and they do...but it's even better when they graduate as good people.

Bingo. That's where we want to be.

So, that's it. It will be sad to say goodbye to Turkey, as it was to say goodbye to Ecuador. But, we know we have made the best decision for us as professionals. For now, if you are interested, here are a couple of links of interest that will preview our new lives in Korea.

Start booking your tickets, it's Asia time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

An introduction to Chadwick on Vimeo:

Chadwick International from Chadwick International on Vimeo.

A tour of Chadwick International on Vimeo:

School Tour from Chadwick International on Vimeo.

Our city of the future, Songdo: (it will open in 2015...obviously, a school is one of the first things you want built, hence, well...US!)

Articles from all over the press about Songdo, the world's first and largest "Green" city, and our new home:

An animated fly-over of for the school!

Finally, Erin would be very mad if I didn't mention her new favorite blog, Eat Your Kimchi. If you don't know what Kimchi is, then don't bother visiting us!

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