I say about a month after I wrote this post about choosing to leave Indonesia, I actually decided to stay on for at least 1 more school year. Even though it is not in my heart to stay in Indonesia indefinitely, I feel like it is not quite time to leave my current position at my current school or this country. When I first came here, many said give it time, more time that you think to adjust here. They were right, looking back at facing this developing country, that assaults all senses, sometimes all at once and working in a fairly new and very ambitious school, I was overwhelmed, physically, and professionally.
The physical challenges are still exhausting, the heat, and the sinus issues (this one turned into Bronchitis). As annoying as they are, at least I can say that I got past the months of "Jakarta Belly" that I suffered through last year. Professionally I don't mind a challenge, as long as they are mostly positive or at least beneficial and fair. I have seen my school grow already in the 1.5 years that I have been here and I see that it continues moving forward. Not only as a more sound professional experience but as a perpetual learning experience for me. I want to move forward with my own teaching, learning and collaborating. I want to continue to utilize the members of my school community as mentors, facilitators, coaches and friends that I can also offer personal and professional guidance to.
As the CEO said to those new to the PYP "You may feel like suddenly you don't know how to teach." He wasn't lying. After almost 12 years of experience I felt turned upside down. It's almost the end of my second year here and I am out of the woods (but still learning how to apply the PYP) and the Assistant Principal has said "This is your year". I am glad I held on, once again I proved to myself that I am not a quitter and that I seem to learn best when thrown into it.
So I have decided to stay, for now and focus on continuing to learn and grow as a teacher. I could still do that in another country, however I see that staying in a school for a bit I can get a grater sense of how I can and have evolved in my career. To give this place a fairer chance I should try to "Bloom where I am planted". Cheesy, but true. I am beginning to appreciate the landscape more and understand how I can utilize it more for teaching. I missed the landscape of Slovakia (as cold, gray and wet as it was) with its seasons, plant life and animals that were easy to incorporate into science concepts. Now I am adapting to this new environment and I beginning to discover the life around me right beside my students.
We start off one way...
We should reflect upon who we are and what challenges we face.
We can stay true to where we want to go.
We should let ourselves grow (and go) as slowly as we need.
We can decide how we evolve...
I never know what I will find in my backyard, thanks to Lucy.
We should peek out to see what is around us.
We can grow and adapt just about about anywhere if we put our minds to it.
If we don't make it, thats okay we can let the ants eat us (thats still being useful really).
Pay attention to the hidden life all around us.
Try to have fresh and youthful eyes with an open mind.