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We hope you’ve all thoroughly enjoyed your summers and are just as excited for the new school year to begin as we are. A whole new year to make a positive impact on the next generation: Educating, enlightening, and shaping young minds. Go teachers! As educators, many of you no doubt fall into the category of ‘lifelong learner.’ Lovers of learning might be interested in reading about what is paramount to a cultural classroom currently taking place at the World Expo in Shanghai.

Lovers of … ahem… love will very much enjoy the romantically themed Teacher Story this month, while those who appreciate new job opportunities (or free stuff), keep on reading – you’ll learn about a new program well-suited to ESL instructors in Malaysia. And yes, we did say “free stuff.” If you want a chance to win a digital camcorder in time for the holidays, here’s our advice: Head overseas, take some pictures, and send us your best shot. That’s a right, it’s a photo contest, and you have the chance to win a Polaroid camcorder if you get the most votes! Good luck!

We wish you a great first month back at school!

-The Teach Away Team

In this issue:

Visit Shanghai, Experience the World

Teacher Story: Will You Marry Me?

Move to Malaysia?

First Impressions Photo Contest

Visit Shanghai, Experience the World

Shanghai TowerThe spring opener for the Shanghai World Expo began with an apropos quotation from Confucius, “When friends come from far away, what a great joy.” Although fitting for an international event such as this one, these wise words could easily be used in reference to teachers who leave their homes and countries and take impermanent residence in cities around the world, cities just like Shanghai.

Culturally curious teachers, wondering where they should head for their next international adventure, may be lured in by the theme of this year’s World Expo: “Better City, Better Life.” Shanghai, one of China’s largest and fastest growing cities, offers its own unique culture as well as a world of cultures to be experienced at this year’s successful World Expo. Although a summer of international events has already come and gone, not to worry! The 2010 World Expo in Shanghai will be continuing to inform, to entertain, and to enlighten until October 31st of this year – this means there’s still lots of time to get involved (if you’re already in China), or to find yourself a job (through Teach Away, of course!) and hop on a flight to a modern city located in a country rich with history and tradition.

With pavilions from Antigua to Zambia, there’s definitely something for anyone and everyone! For those specifically interested in Chinese Culture, the Wudang Martial Arts Show is a must-see, and will be on until the end of this month. For other events not to be missed, you may want to visit the official homepage of Expo 2010 to read about the exciting programs and pavilions:

Teacher Story: Will You Marry Me?

(by Randy Pulayya)

Teachers on Mt. Fuji get engagedBefore we came to Korea, I told my girlfriend Shauna that I would propose to her if we went over together. I always said that before I proposed to a girl, I would have to do an overseas backpacking trip with her. That is precisely what Shauna and I have been doing for the past year here in Korea—we have visited China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and Japan twice.

I knew I was going to ask Shauna Vo to marry me the minute we left the States and were off to South Korea. I am pretty old fashioned, so when the time came, I felt it was important to ask Shauna’s mother for her permission. After I got her family’s blessing, I spent more than three months getting ready for the big day.

The time came to plan our fourth vacation together during our year in Korea. We were torn between going to Taiwan and making our second trip to Japan to hike up Mt. Fuji. We couldn’t decide, so we played a popular game, Rock, Paper, Scissors (kawi, bawi, bo in Korean). We played best out of three, and Mt. Fuji won. I decided that I would propose once we got to the summit.

Soon our bags were packed and we were off to Tokyo. As we were about to board the plane, I noticed there would be an extra security check for hand luggage. I had wrapped the ring box into a pink sock for added cushioning so that the box would not get destroyed, so I was really nervous as the lady opened my bag. She immediately went for the pink sock, and started to unroll it. (My heart was racing!)

I started to explain in my limited Korean, but then decided that if Shauna found out, I would propose to her right then and there. (It wouldn’t have been that bad since we first met at JFK Airport going through the security line anyway.) I was relieved that the lady figured out what I was doing and she let me go without Shauna suspecting anything.

We hiked up Mt. Fuji on a clear night. The silhouette of the mountain was spectacular. The wind blew softly and the air felt peaceful and serene. The sky was filled with thousands of stars. Suddenly, we were above the clouds and on our way to the summit. It was an intimate and spiritual hike.

On our way up, we ran into some Florida Gators and I started talking to them while Shauna went for a bathroom break: “I am going to propose to my girlfriend on the summit and I thought it would be even more special if we could get some Gators involved.” They agreed to take part. They were in charge of capturing this special moment on video.

At 4:30 am I went forward with my plan and proposed to Shauna. I was nervous, cold, and excited. I wanted it to be special. In the end she was completely surprised. When I asked her to marry me she replied, “Okay,” and I was filled with joy! I was a little nervous about proposing but in the end, all went well. I love our life together and I look forward to what our new life will bring.

I am grateful to our family, friends, the Gators, and this experience in Korea – all of which made this evening possible. If we had never got the opportunity to teach in South Korea, I wouldn’t have had the chance to make such a magical proposal.

July 21st 4:30am, engaged

A Move to Malaysia?

Malaysia Cameroon HighlandsHere at Teach Away, the Telegram may have been on summer vacation, but your favourite representatives definitely haven’t! We’ve been busy travelling to new countries, learning about new programs, and seeking out new teaching jobs – all for you! One of our newest programs is located in the tropical country of Malaysia. Located just north of the equator, this is definitely a move to consider if you are lover of palm trees, beaches, and sun.

A quick glance at the world map might have you believe that the two pieces of land which make up Malaysia are in fact two separate countries. Although it shares its borders with both Thailand and Indonesia and is geographically separated by the South China Sea, these are two puzzle pieces that, together, make up the fascinating country of Malaysia.

When it comes to culture, Malaysia is an intriguing blend of Southeast Asia and the Middle East. Comprised of residents from around the world, Malaysian citizens ensure a peaceful society by affording respect and tolerance to an array of different nationalities. An example of this can be found in the freedom to practice one’s own religion: Although Islam is the country’s national religion, other beliefs, such as Christianity and Hinduism for example, are practiced and respected.

If life in Malaysia sounds like the life you would like to lead, you may want to consider taking part in the new education initiative being implemented by the Malaysian government. This program is unique in that ESL teachers who are hired won’t be filling the position of a regular classroom teacher, but would instead be expected to take on a leadership role within the reform.

Certified TESOL teachers with (at least) a couple of years of experience under their belt might take enjoyment in a new kind of experience within the field of ESL. In order to ensure the successful implementation of the English language program, the Malaysian government is employing teachers like you to model, train, and co-teach local Malaysian English teachers. If you’re ready to move up to a leadership role and you meet the following requirements, apply online now!

  • Native English speaker
  • Bachelors Degree
  • TESL/TEFL/TESOL certified
  • Min. 2 years ESL experience
  • Leadership experience preferred (training, co-teaching, curriculum development, team leader, etc.)
  • Experience in southeast Asia (preferred)

‘First Impressions’ Photo Contest

Teacher taking a photo in MalaysiaThis fall Teach Away will be holding a ‘First Impressions’ photo competition. This contest is open to teachers who have recently left their home countries to take part in the growing trend of teaching ESL and English overseas. (Of course, it’s also open to those of you who simply have the travel bug!) The teacher who sends in the best photo will win a brand new digital camcorder– just in time for Christmas!

The contest details are as follows:

  • Go through your photos and find a picture that nicely captures your first impression of your home away from home.
  • Upload your perfect picture on to the Teach Away facebook page with the title First Impressions Contest, and a brief caption underneath (location and one-sentence explanation). Deadline: October 31, 2010.
  • The sooner, the better! Once we’ve received your photo, we will upload it on to our site (where other viewers will have the chance to vote).The longer your photo is on the site, the better chance it has of receiving the most votes.
  • Wait while other teachers (and visitors to our site) browse through the entries and click on the photo they think is best.
  • The owner of the photo that receives the most clicks during the month of November will be the lucky winner of a Polaroid digital camcorder, compliments of Teach Away.
  • The winner will be announced in the December issue of the Teach Away Telegram.

We’re looking forward to seeing your photos from abroad, so get out there and start snapping shots! Best of luck!

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