With Fresh Eyes

#sol22- July 26, 2022

I love having the opportunity to look at something with fresh eyes- part of the joy of being a teacher is the fresh start each year brings. In international schools, it is common for 20-25% of the staff to leave each year, which means there is always a crew of new to the school teachers joining.

Today I had the pleasure of showing M and M around. M1 is moving into my building and M2 has already moved in a little south. This was their first walk around the neighborhood, but not their first international move, so the fact that there are no sidewalks did not faze them.

I showed them my favorites:

*the massage place ($20 for two hours and they also do manicures/pedicures, etc.) There are many, but One https://www.onedayspa.org/is the best!

*delicious restaurants, Cambodian, Greek, Mexican, Japanese, barbecue, burgers, healthy salads, and more

*grocery stores and convenience shops

*ATMs

*furniture and houseware shops

* the “Russian Market” -also the nickname for our neighborhood

and we added apps to their phones for grocery delivery, meal delivery, and more. We talked about the social enterprises here and how many places disappeared during the height of Covid when no tourists were allowed in. We didn’t talk about school. I loved visiting these places through their eyes.

These last days before school starts back are magical days- my to do list is long, but time still feels amorphous. When I took a cold shower upon my return home I opened my laptop to work on some of the school things I could do bit by bit now to ease my transition on Monday. I was happy I had a new appreciation for our neighborhood where I feel happily at home and I admired my to be read pile of books that I am working my way through also and cracked the spine of the top one.

I look forward to a fresh start and feel pretty refreshed before our teacher orientation starts in six days:)

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7 thoughts on “With Fresh Eyes

  1. Favorite line – We didn’t talk about school. How lovely to just enjoy your town that your school is in and share tips. This piece shows so much about kindness. Of course, the newbiews need to know about this place and this app. Thanks for a glimpse of what it would feel like to join your school community. Lucky staff!

  2. I’m so impressed that you take the greater embrace of life beyond the school and help new teachers get acclimated to the area. Showing them the spa and the shopping apps is brilliant – – you are not only welcoming new teachers, you are nurturing new relationships and modeling what it means to go the extra mile (literally). I absolutely love this. It makes me want to visit your school and town just to see all the places.

  3. Reading posts by international teachers makes me want to visit all these places and get a tour from you and others. Your post reminds me of how big and small our world is as well as common misconceptions about life and it’s conveniences abroad. The $20 massage is calling.

  4. I agree with the other commenters- your kindness shines through, and yet you interpret it as helping YOU to see and appreciate your community and neighborhood with fresh eyes. I admire you and others who can make a real home in a very different place, and now you help others. I have enjoyed visiting Cambodia with you and other places with other international teachers at TWT.

  5. Erika, what fun for you and your mentee teachers. I love that idea of you helping them download the apps and figure out the neighborhood. What a great service! What a lovely ending to your summer to soak in the last of the days. Have a great finish to your summer and a super new school year, Erika!

  6. Your positive energy shines through in this post. I needed to read this. While I still have a few weeks left to summer, I do not feel refreshed yet, and I am not ready to even think about returning to school right now.

  7. This is so delightful! I felt like I was there – you write with a warmth that is both inviting and enchanting. I must admit – I am so terribly jealous of your $20 spa days (smile)! I wish you the best, unparalleled school year. If you bring this energy to your class, I imagine they will be equally enchanted with a love for literacy. #bestwishes

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