Welcome to Taipei 5

In the world of teaching, change is something all too familiar. New students every year, new research, new teaching tools, and the list goes on. We all know that as educators, taking on the philosophy of being a ‘lifelong learner’ will probably help us be most successful in our careers. Always adapting, changing and learning as the field of education moves forward and as we adapt to every new thing thrown at us. In the world of international education, I think the word ‘change’ becomes a part of everyday life. Having your class numbers drop and grow within the school year is nothing new as families come and go. I’ve had new students join my class two months before school ends! I feel this is the most difficult because the rest of the class has established routines and friendships, and just as you get the new children settled and adjusted, school is out for summer! It still amazes me how resilient these children are.

This summer, I’m transitioning into a new country and city, a new school, new colleagues and a new curriculum. I wasn’t too worried about transitioning to a new place as I was an expat’s daughter growing up, so my entire life has been about moving from one country to the next. I’ve been pretty excited about the city, my new home, learning the public transportation system, and most especially shopping for furniture and pieces to decorate my new apartment! Now that my new place is looking almost the way I’d like it to, what’s left is the transition into my new job…*insert dramatic music*

…For someone who has been a part of this sort of change for almost her entire life, I am VERY nervous and a bit scared.

This was a dream job for me to get. I could hardly believe my ears in the interview when they said they wanted me! After graduating from Teachers College, I entered the world of the PYP. I loved it, I learned from it and I feel like I’ve really grown as a teacher through it. Now I’m leaving the PYP to come back to the training I had at TC and I’m rejoining the American curriculum. I am thrilled to finally have the chance, after six years, to be able to run the Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP). I’ve studied it, been to their summer institute, but never have I been at a school that formally runs it. Now’s my big chance, but I’m terrified. I love everything about TCRWP, I think it’s amazing stuff and I think this school I’m entering into is also an amazing place to work. My fear: will I do it all justice? 

Thanks to @franmcveigh ‘s suggestion, I went back to the various Vimeo videos that Lucy Calkins and other project leaders had posted to help guide us in the right direction. It’s helped to calm my nerves somewhat and remind me that I do know something about the project. Regardless though, the jitters are still there! So as per @franmcveigh ‘s second suggestion, I’d like to reach out to the #kinderchat folk who are familiar with TCRWP. Can I ask for your guidance and advice? Can we stay in touch over the year? Maybe have our classes be twitter buddies? 🙂

Let’s end on a more positive note. Here’s a fun and interesting (or perhaps gross) thing that I tried the other day. Taiwan is very close to Japan, and the Japanese school is right across the street from the American school where I’ll be teaching. So with the large Japanese community here, comes some really GREAT Japanese food. There is this sushi/sashimi stall in the Shidong Market where you just go and tell the guy how many people will be dining. No menu, they just start serving you lots of really delicious and fresh fish and seafood! Then when you are full you ask him to stop or he’ll keep putting food in front of you! Yesterday he gave us a very rare delicacy, puffer fish semen. That’s right, you read it correctly the first time. I’m quite brave when it comes to food, and I’ll try most things once before deciding if I like it or not. It was definitely interesting…but I don’t think I’ll have it again. Haha!

Puffer Fish


There you have it, my response to #kinderblog13 challenge number 3: CHANGE.

Welcome to Taipei!

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5 thoughts on “Welcome to Taipei

  • Fran

    Thanks for the mentions! I think you have a plan in mind and now you just need the time to execute it.

    What I didn’t share is the fact that I have been in the field of education a long,long, long time, and I am always both anxious and a bit stressed for each new class and year. I am prepping for writing classes with teachers next week and today was “Decision Day.” No more “what if” or “maybe this” or “not ready for that, YET!” Some anxiety or nervousness means that we are striving to do our best!

    You are prepared! You are AWESOME!

    • panalee@gmail.com Post author

      Fran, I am so appreciative of all your responses to my cries for help! It is very good to know that support is just a tweet away 🙂 THANK YOU!

  • Tracey

    Wow, talk about big changes! Congratulations on the new job, and it sounds like you have a solid PLN for when you feel as though you need support for implementing TCRWP. Best of luck!

  • Heather

    Sounds like exciting times of change indeed! Although I’m not familiar with your new program, I do have experience working in different places, programs, & directives. I find the best part of #kinderchat is the support and reminders of what’s most important, regardless of our situations:

    Play (for all ages)
    Connect & Collaborate

    Think about everything your PYP journey has taught you. Now use it as your diving board to jump in and be awesome in your new role. Thank you for sharing and good luck! Stay connected and your PLN will be here for you!

    • panalee@gmail.com Post author

      Heather, your words are so kind! I am truly grateful for the support of my PLN 🙂 Thanks for being a part of it!