Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Summer Break and My New Role at School

Summer break is finally here after a very, very long school year. I can't exactly pinpoint what made the past year such a tough one but I think the year just started off in April with Bunbun which put me in a place I've never been in before emotionally, mentally and even physically.

After that my buddy at school left back to his country and Eric and I started running together less and less due to 1) different running goals, 2) injury and 3) the prioritizing of "family time" over running. Also, the new school year brought new students into my daily life who were quite naughty. We spent a lot of time and energy trying to get them "where we wanted them" as far as expected classroom behavior, participation and effort was concerned (not to mention respect for the teachers and other classmates). Maybe those things had something to do with the stress of the past two semesters, haha!!

Even with it being a tough year, we all survived and summer is upon us! Summer to a student and summer to a teacher are two totally different beasts though.

For the students, it means two months of freedom, traveling with family perhaps, sleeping in and as we used to sing when I was a kid, "No more teachers' dirty looks" haha!! No homework, no cramming for tests, no spelling, no exams. They can sit and watch television all day, play games or chat with their friends online. If they're lucky, they'll spend more time outside, active, or spend quality time with their families.

When classes start again in May, I'll ask the students how they spent their summer vacations and sadly many of the responses will be, "Play games", "Watch TV" and "Play Internet". I find that sad, but I understand that 1) most of their parents still have to go to work and 2) Bangkok isn't a place where you go outside to play...Not many yards or places where parents will let you go and play with friends on your own. There is basically no, "Be home by dinner time" here for student types. It is a very urban area with dangers lurking around every corner (not to sound negative), but that's a story for another post some day.

For the teachers (at my school) summer is more like "School's out, school's out, teachers let the monkeys out." We don't have daily classes for two months, yay. The first week of break is filled with grading finals, assessments, writing report cards and tying a big bow around the school year as far as the students are concerned. After that there are usually two weeks of summer camp.

Following summer camp, teachers have holiday given by school and are also able to take personal leave according to their contracts. For me, all combined, that gives me exactly one month off. This means that I don't have to go to school. We'll be back several weeks before the students report back, for preparation, training and some shaking off of the cobwebs ;)

This year sees me changing roles at the school as well. I did eventually take the job as International Principal (IP) that was offered to me. I haven't signed a contract for it yet. The IP contract is separate from my teaching contract which allows me to walk back into my teaching role if either party, me or the school, decides that I shouldn't be the IP anymore following a six month probationary period. I have been told to expect the contract May 1st.

Luckily (I think), I will still be teaching science but my teaching hours will be cut from 18 hours to 8 hours. I'll only be teaching sixth graders this year as opposed to fifth and sixth graders like last year. I still don't know how much of my time the IP role will consume, so I can't say yet if 8 hours of teaching and the hours of planning and grading and reporting that goes along with the teaching will be easy or difficult. On the face of it, it just looks like I've had my schedule cut in half, but factoring in the IP job, it is a mystery.

Along with the IP role, I've been asked (asked=euphemism) to cover for our Head of the Primary Department (HOD) two days per week as she also occupies two roles of School HR manager and Primary HOD. From what I've seen over the past nine years, the HOD role is one to run from...I have no choice though, so I'll do what a good Marine always does and SUCK IT UP!!

Due to some pilot strikes at Pae's work, she is flying a cut down schedule this month. She's worked it out to where she will have nearly two weeks straight off which allows us to spend some time together.

So yeah, it's summer now and I'm looking forward to a few days at the beach with Pae and little Bubble boy. After a few days down south, we'll make the trek back to Pae's hometown to spend time with family and check out the progress of the apartment first hand. We should be able to spend a couple days at the beach and almost a whole week back home.

It is a much needed vacation and welcomed and treasured time together. Hopefully we'll come back recharged and ready to take on whatever 2016-2017 has in store for us!

1 comment:

mardenheyjude said...

Guy and Pae: Enjoy your time together this summer. Keep me posted on how your new job goes Guy and hopefully the pilots will not be out on strike too long Pae. Love always, Auntie

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