A week to departure: musings from the UK

With just over a week to go, I feel excitement and a mix of jitters too on our upcoming move to Poland. We are seeking apartments and they are hard to come buy, we’ve ironed out specifics on our contract, and we are now at the stage of buying up essentials to have a stock of basic necessities to ‘hit the ground running’. I always like to do this, even if I can find the same products in my new country. I guess it’s like a safety blanket: I have hair products and skin care all to hand.

I’ve been very interested to follow #edutwitter to see what other teachers are busy with in these holidays. I see so many accounts of ‘I’m ready for my holidays as I’ve done my classroom…’ a week into the summer holidays. I feel lucky as an international teacher, this has never entered my mind. In fact, in several international schools ‘organising a classroom’ during the first week of holidays was not even possible, as the rooms were repainted/reorganised each summer. As an international teacher I have found there is not the need to go into work during holidays. PPA time is enough, as most schools offer at least 5 full hours non-teaching time to allow teachers to complete their admin.

As I move schools this year, summertime working in a classroom is not an option. I find this incredibly healthy and great for my well-being. I get to switch off once school finishes, focus on my own activities and at most enjoy background reading. Instead I check my international friends accounts and see them having great trips in Phuket, Holland and elsewhere.

However, to return to the thoughts of the move, I have to admit this one is a more difficult transition. I wonder if it is the fact I haven’t travelled in 2.5 years outside of Taiwan. Or it just feels so easy in the UK. My solution: I booked a holiday before beginning the new teacher induction. We will fly into Krakow and make our way up the country to where I will work (all legalities pending), Warsaw. This solution has helped me reframe the experience and I hope will give me a taste of what I have been missing so much coming from Taiwan.

Teachers who are going on to their first or subsequent move, how are you feeling right now?

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