I am a first time mum (Fabien is three now) and some of the decisions that other parents have to make, such as where to send your child to school, have been made for me.
Being able to send your child to the Early Years provision at your international school is just one of the perks of the job – seeing them grow and make new friendships. It’s been an absolute pleasure to be able to drop my son off at his nursery and know that I am steps away if needed.
It’s these little anxieties that being an international teacher has removed. Talking to friends at home, I have not had the worry of where to send my son nor have I worried about expensive child care. I found a local Thai lady to collect him from school every afternoon. He understands more Thai than he speaks and they have a great relationship. I did worry about the language barrier but as we became more settled, we realised that we needed to immerse ourselves especially as my first post was in the suburbs of Bangkok.
We are on the move again! Not to a different country this time; I’ve secured a new post at a prestigious school in the heart of Bangkok which means that Fabien has a place too. He was 18 months when we made the move to Thailand, so I had plenty of time to check out the EY provision in my first school, and by the time he had started at two and a half, he was used to popping into see mummy at work. He took to preschool beautifully and went everyday from 8am to 2:30pm. The new school is slightly different – he will be one of ‘the little ones’ again – a term he uses for the class below him.
Once again, I feel like the luckiest mum. My new school, Bangkok Prep, allowed Fabien to spend some time there. It’s a bigger school than he has been used to but once again, he made mummy and daddy proud by joining in with the activities and generally being a lot braver than we could have hoped for. We will still have the journey to school together, where we can talk about the day ahead and I will still be able to get home in time to enjoy a family dinner and spend time with him before bedtime. All of these precious things were under pressure in the UK, making our decision to leave easier. I find so much joy in the small, precious moments we experience here and I am so grateful that international teaching has benefitted my little family, not just my career.
We both start in August, and he’s already looking forward to his new classroom and teacher and I’m looking forward to my new role and working alongside new colleagues and pupils. We will have to find another nanny to collect him from school but I’m definitely more relaxed about that. We have friends in the city, some of whom we know from home and others we made along the way, and I’m looking forward to spending more time with them too. There’s something exciting about a new start, isn’t there?
There’s a refreshing and exciting feel about working in an international school and I wonder how much it has contributed to our son’s self confidence. After all, we took a chance and left the UK – we are a little bit braver about new challenges and unknown futures; we’re happy to make new friends and seek out new places. I guess some of that confidence and sense of adventure has rubbed off on him!
Read Julia’s related post on moving abroad with a family.