From Jamie's Philippines Pics

We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.

We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.

Thanks for checking us out!

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness."
- Mark Twain

"Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends."
- Maya Angelou






Skype: "ericandjamie"



Monday, August 11, 2008

First Day of School

In the immortal words of Billy Madison...

"Back to school, back to school, to prove to dad that I'm not a fool,
I've got my lunch packed up, my shoes tied tight,
I hope I don't get in a fight,
Oh, Back to School..."

Jamie and I had our first day at our new school. Quality Schools International has about 39 schools in 26 nations across the globe. It was started by 2 college roommates from Seattle whose first international school was in Yemen. QSI is based around mastery learning and performance based standards, a practice that almost all school system in the U.S. preach but cannot practice due to size, politics, culture, training, money, faculty willingness, as well as a plethora of other factors that I could list, but I feel would be too preachy. It is what the No Child Left Behind (NCLB), or the "No Child Left a Dime" wants to be but just simply can't be. Nonetheless, we were slowly indoctrinated into the QSI practices today for our opening day new teacher orientation.

For those educators reading this blog, it was a typical first day orientation; however, the strengths and weaknesses, and thus the level of boring/not boring all depends upon the leadership at the school. From what we have seen so far, we have some very gifted administrators who have embraced the QSI philosophies and portray them to the staff in a way that does in fact adhere to the "practice what you preach" mentality. Our Director (principal) is a gifted people person which goes to show why the Shekou QSI has almost doubled in size since he has been there.

Jamie and I will continue to go through the new teacher orientation this week. Honestly, any anxiety that Jamie and I have had concerning our move to China for this new job was erased today.

One aspect that was brought to our attention was our VISA interview with the Chinese police. We have been told that this process is fairly painless but some have actually "failed" their interview and been denied Visas. We hope that does not happen to us. That is the nature of the cartoon above. I will let you know about this process when we have our interview. We are scheduled some time this week for it, which should finalize our year long visa and allow us to travel. Our first destination... Hong Kong... pending we pass our interview with the People's Republic of China Communist Police Authority.

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