Category Archives: Teaching

Live without regrets

Regrets, I’ve had a few… words from a great and memorable song.  My way ~ the way I choose to live my life.
Do you have regrets in your life? Is there something that you wish you could go back in your life and change?

I have regrets. Less than I used to but I still have regrets.  There are times that I think maybe I would go back in time and change things, but then would I be where I am today? Not likely.

I truly believe that everything in our life happens for a reason, and that we meet certain people who are only in our life for a short time but have the biggest impact on us.  Do I regret that this person is no longer in my life? No because I know the time we had together helped me grow into the woman I am today.

So don’t go through life with too many regrets. Be grateful for everything you have. Life is too short to have too many regrets.

And remember what Frank said ~ I did it my way!!

Let kids be kids!!

There is a reason why the Chinese are so advanced in education. The children are always in school it seems. Even on days that are holidays, some kids are at special schools for the entire day. And this isn’t just the older kids. These are 8 year olds and up going to school from  7am until sometimes 7pm. And older kids are having to do homework until 11 at night. And by older I mean middle school kids ~ 11 year olds.  So is it too much? Is there too much pressure being put on these kids?

Some people ~ especially the parents ~ say no.  They want their kids to have as much education as possible so that they can be successful later in life. And I do understand that.

But does more education mean more success? In my opinion, no it doesn’t.  I consider myself a very successful woman and have an amazing career that I love, but I am not as educated as others my age are. Does that make me less successful?  No. Hard work makes someone successful. Perseverance and overcoming obstacles makes someone successful. Education can play a part but not the only part.

I wish I could talk to the parents here and explain to them that it’s okay for their children to have some downtime and to just be kids!  I would hate to see these wonderful little minds become resentful because of the pressure put on them.

So I say ~ let them be kids. They are young for such a short time and then adult life happens.  And that is meant for kids all over the world ~ not just in China!!  Let kids be kids ~ real life will happen for them soon enough!!

Work to live

Which are you? Someone who works to live, or lives to work? Have you ever given this any thought? Maybe you were thinking of re-evaluating your life and started to question this. It causes great debates between people.

Many discussions have taken place between my friends and I about this. Some of these discussions have turned into lively debates.  I believe both sides have valid points. I was one of those people who lived to work for a very long time. But then the world opened up to me, and I discovered a whole new way of thinking and a new way of life.

We all know that life is short. And there is so much more to life than work. Of course, in order to live, most of us need to work. But when work takes over and you are no longer enjoying life because of work, is it really worth it?  There has to be a healthy balance. I find it hard to believe those people who say that they love to work 15 hours a day. 
Take the time to stop and smell the roses. Enjoy life – work to make enough so you can enjoy your life, but don’t forget to live.

Laugh Love Smile

Life is a journey, and that journey is not always sunshine and roses. There are daily struggles we all deal with, no matter where we are.

Laughter ~ despite having bad days, whenever you hear the sound of a child’s laugh, your day can be brightened in an instant. Miscommunication because of language barriers are a common thing when traveling and living abroad, and that’s why I always walk through the park near my home so that I can hear a child’s laugh to cheer me up.

Love with all your heart. It doesn’t matter if it’s not given back. The more love you spread, the better the world becomes.  There was an English Festival at the school this week, and there is one young boy in Grade 2 who always holds my hand and hugs me whenever he sees me. He came into the room I was in, and sat beside me. He held my hand, and looked at me and said I love you Louisa. I love this job just for those moments. I know my life is better because of these kids.

Every day, we need to smile, even if we don’t feel like it. It makes us feel better and makes the person receiving it feel better.  Not every day is perfect as a TEFL teacher living abroad, but its infinitely better than sitting at a desk for years.

Laugh, love and smile ~ life is too short not to remember these three simple words!

Choosing a better life

My life has been anything but easy. I have experienced challenges with every turn in the road of this life. It has only been recently that I have chosen to embrace every challenge and conquer it.

Czech Republic was one of my biggest and most challenging roads to take. Leaving my family, my comfortable job and a steady pay cheque was the scariest thing I have ever done. With a strong desire to succeed and to show everyone, especially myself, that I could do this, I put my nose to the grindstone, worked hard, worked long hours teaching, and succeeded. With the willpower and determination I knew was needed, I gave it all my all and was rewarded with amazing students and great new friends.

While moving to China can be seen as a huge move, and it was, because of the experience I already had moving away from my family, the transition was much easier to cope with.

If you have a strong desire to see the world, if you are willing to sacrifice the comfort of the known, if you want to be challenged, then you can have this life too. You just need to reach out and grab it.

Back to school!!

After a very long winter break, school is back. I missed my students very much and they missed me too!  I impressed them with my growing knowledge of the very difficult language of Mandarin!  Seeing the students again was the highlight of my week. Dealing with adults ~ not so much.

The daily struggle of not being fluent in the language can be so frustrating. Miscommunication is the biggest problem. Arriving at school to teach, getting into the first class only to be told then that grade 1 classes were cancelled for the morning ~ its a problem. The teachers each assume that the others have told me, when in fact no one has.  This was just one of several miscommunication issues of the week.

When you are abroad, its always good to remind yourself to be patient and not expect things to run smoothly every day. And every time something like this happens, I remind myself that I am here for the kids, they love me and I love them. 

Second semester is here, and I am so happy to be back !!  I will just remind myself every day that seeing the kids smiles and getting hugs is worth every issue I need to deal with.

Learning Chinese ~ the struggle continues

Moving to a new country poses many problems and challenges, but one of the most important things one must do is to try to learn at least the basics of the country’s language. Therefore, Mandarin has been my challenge this school break!

I have been taking Chinese lessons and it has been quite the challenge! Mandarin is not easy to learn. The tones are the hardest things to remember. But I am proud to say that I have been able to learn a few of the basic words ~ hello, thank you, how much is this, numbers and other easy words. 

I have made it a goal of mine that wherever I travel I need to learn the basics. I did the best I could in the Czech Republic (another very difficult language to learn!) and most people understood what I was trying to say. The same is happening here. But Chinese are much more forgiving and patient! 

I will be moving on to another country in August and I will be learning some of the new language before I get there!  In the meantime, my Mandarin lessons continue and I will do my best to improve.

For those of us that travel, it really is so important that we make the effort to at least learn to say hello in their language. We would expect the same of foreigners coming to our country. Just remember how difficult it is for them to communicate with us.  And we are never too old to learn something new!!

And if you are in China and are in doubt, just say “ting bu dong” ~ you will make most people laugh and they will realize you don’t know what they are saying! (It means ~ I don’t understand 😉 )