From August, I will no longer be a “TaiTai” or “trailing spouse”. I will have my own Z visa and no longer be classed as a dependent. Better declare that then to the Student Loans Company!
I applied for, and was successful in getting a post at Dulwich International High School, Suzhou as a College/Universities Counsellor. I have a specific remit to help students with UCAS. I have been enjoying my time not working, I have been lunching, having coffees, helping with Eleanor’s class, window shopping, planning holidays, getting my nails done, learning Mandarin and generally enjoying myself…From August I will be working again – full time. It will be a shock to the system, but I am really looking forward to this new career and helping students discover what they want to do and where they want to do it.
However, there is a slight sticking point, to get a job here I need to be a teacher…so I am going to Beijing on Monday to complete a week long TEFL Course (Teaching English as a Foreign Language). After I have passed the exam I will then be “qualified” enough to get a working visa.
I have already undergone another medical which consisted of an ultrasound of my liver, another chest x-ray (the last one being taken less than a year ago), bloods, urine, sight test, ECG – the woman who did it lacked any bedside manner, and height and weight. Three of us went from school, and like school children we were herded from one room to another to await the testing. I assume I am fine (just as I was last year) as the results should have been collected by now and so at least I have passed the medical of working in China.
I have to do an online test which is this weekend’s task and then pass the course and hopefully get my working visa sorted by the time the Summer Holidays come.
The summer break is only 6 weeks away, and the Crozier Three are off to Australia for the month of July. Escaping the hot Summer here and going to the antipodean winter. We will catch up with friends, and Martin will find that I have even more family.
But these next 6 weeks are about to become CRAZY…I have the TEFL course to do, I have a course in Shanghai to go to, Martin goes back to the UK for less than a week at the end of May, he comes back and then Eleanor and I, on the 3rd June, depart China to come back to the UK until 28th June. We have got friends here who will look after Eleanor whilst I go to Shanghai for a 2 day course as Martin will be in the UK by then.
I will be going to two courses whilst in the UK and then the rest of the time I am travelling to many universities. Eleanor is being hosted by two families at Leweston and will be back at Leweston school for the month of June. Eleanor and I will then meet up at the weekends and see friends and of course the new addition to my cousin’s family, Ethan. It seems mad to be bringing Eleanor back with me, it certainly isn’t the easiest option for me or our wonderful friends who have agreed to have an extra child for a few weeks, but her staying in Suzhou would not be an easy option for Martin either. With no family or a full time Ayi (maid/nanny) we thought the best option was for continuity and Eleanor will get that at Leweston. (her teacher here is about to depart on adoption leave too, so at least Eleanor is very familiar with the staff at Lewston) and I think will be a lot more settled to come back to Year 2 where she will undoubtedly be with different people in her class as many will leave at the end of this year.
I am delighted at this new phase of my working life. I am not missing my law career, I left that behind nearly a year ago and whilst I miss the camaraderie of my colleagues I don’t miss the billing, the targets, the constant fear of not being paid by the Legal Services Commission, the LSC’s further pay cuts in the work that I did, the clients who want everything but don’t do anything to get it, the waking up in the night thinking about cases…need I go on. My new career will have its own challenges but bring it on.