This year at our school, we have 12 Foreign Teachers (FTs) who come from countries such as the United States, Canada, and the Philippines. That isn’t what stands out the most in my mind. There are several quality reasons why the FT Team is so unique and great to work with. One thing is that everybody has lived in Asia at some point in his or her life. In those times, we have had the experiences commonly described as mountaintops and deep valleys. We as foreigners have taken notice of and have thought through the surroundings and what people within that particular Asian culture did and said, even if it was observing the fact that a lot of people stare at you. (Side note: This can be a hurdle for some, and it can be even more frustrating when returning to one’s home country and nobody is giving you a second’s glance.)
What I love most about the team is the experiences and backgrounds that each of us has and are willing to bring to the table. Not just are we willing to share, we are willing to listen. That’s why we have two ears and one mouth, right? We need to listen twice as much as we talk. I have seen and taken part in these blessed conversations many times already in just the first 3-4 weeks of work. I absolutely love direct, intense, serious questions/discussions that hit on the meaning of life and how to love our co-workers, students, and community the best we can with a changed heart. The best and worst thing about the team this year is that we ask those questions and seek the answers together. Best and worst? Yes, because it’s beautiful, yet horrifying, trying to mature with others holding you accountable personally and professionally. Just ask my parents.
I know… I know… there will be bumps in the roads whether it is differences, frustrations, or whatever may have you. A uniqueness of the current team is how the ones in the midst deal with it. I have personally learned that if it’s on your own that you deal with situations, good luck because failure is inevitable and more repeatable when not being willing to surrender your self to others. The thing is though that there are times when I can really see, feel, and experience the distinctions of those around me. This is the team that I want to be a part of. This is the team that is truly rare.
By the way, I just might be trying to define the Chinese Dream in my spare time.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival (later this week) to you all!