November 2013

Yes, we went to Disney! It's a pretty stumpy looking castle, no?!

Yes, we went to Disney! It’s a pretty stumpy looking castle, no?!

The weather is gradually changing day by day. Its started to get a lot cooler so I’ve had to don my mac; albeit nowhere near as cold as the UK, but it’s been pretty chilly- 19ºc today!  Sorry for the lack of updates. My brother and my friend came to visit me, so I was busy for the past two weeks doing lots of fun things with them. I also met up with Carne Griffiths the other week as he currently has a solo exhibition at Above Second Gallery in Sheung Wan. And Sam is coming to visit in a few weeks time (yay!) and then I’m off back to the UK. So I’ve got about five weeks left to try and cram as much stuff in before I leave.

I can’t believe my time in Hong Kong is nearly coming to and end. It’s been testing at times, filled with emotions, met some amazing people along the way, made me more independent than I ever thought I was capable of. Living on my own was one of the biggest things to overcome as I’ve always lived in a household with more than one person. So to have my own company was weird at first, but eventually I got used to it and I do appreciate having my own space (in my tiny flat).

But do you know what? I miss my home comforts! I can’t live without cheese and bread for any longer now! I will probably be on a cheese binge when I get back… I’m not sure what my plans are when I get back. I’m going to move back to London and start looking for jobs again; probably something in the speech and language area. I also want to continue to do volunteering work as my time at The Nesbitt Centre has been extremely rewarding and invaluable.

I’ve been documenting about my teaching experience for the past few weeks over at Ho Yan in Hong Kong.  I decided to keep it separate mainly because it has nothing to do with illustration, but also if potential clients want to know a bit more about me then they can see what I’ve been up to.

I think Hong Kong is a good place to get teaching experience, however, I think it depends entirely on what you want to gain from it. Before I came to Hong Kong, I applied to loads of places but I never heard back from them partly because I wasn’t even in Hong Kong; so why would they even hire me, which is totally understandable. I don’t regret it though as I’ve been able to see other schools and language centres.

My only gripe has been with language centres. I wrote about it here  and had a bit of a rant about it. By the way, they’re my own opinions and not an overall generalisation as I’m sure there are amazing language centres who treat and respect their staff like normal human beings. So today I worked at a local language centre as they said they’d give me an hours break, fine, even though it was from 9-6pm. When I actually saw the schedule for the day no break was mentioned. I asked about it and one of the staff told me there are no breaks on Saturdays; so they pretty much lied to me. I worked from 9-6pm without a lunch break or a short 10 minute break in between each of the sessions. This is going to sound really unprofessional, but I had to have my lunch whilst I was teaching. You would never do that in a teaching environment, I mean, it just looks unprofessional. But what was I supposed to do? They even told me to eat really quickly before the sessions had started… urgh. I was pretty pissed off at this point. Apologies if I sound mega negative! May be I’m having bad luck with language centres!

I really don’t want to put anyone off as I believe that if you want to gain more experience working with group work, then great. But I think private tutoring is another route to go with if you want to make extra money. I’m tutoring at the moment and I love it as I control over what I want to teach, plus the flexibility is excellent as it fits around my schedule. I do feel more prepared during my sessions; I like doing one to one work as you get to know your students a lot better.

Anyway, I’d like to hear your thoughts about it. Are you currently teaching abroad? Or are you planning on moving soon? Whats your experience been like so far?