As many of you know we (Justin and Melanie) have accepted teaching positions in Beijing, China. Melanie will be teaching English to university students at Tsinghua University and Justin will be teaching (many) Chinese kindergartners at Beilin International English School. Nadia will be attending an online U.S. school and we will be teaching her as well. We are going to be doing A LOT of teaching!
So why are we going to China? There are several reasons and they vary depending on which one of us you ask. However, we all agree that this an opportunity that we cannot pass up. As you probably know Justin has been teaching at Mimosa Elementary in Fulton County for the past 2 years and Melanie recently finished her Masters in Reading, Language, and Literacy with a concentration in ESOL. At the same time Nadia just finished 5th grade and is approaching middle school.
Our family, for years, has yearned to live/work/travel abroad. We see this moment as (most likely) the one opportunity we will have to truly immerse ourselves in the world. We are both deeply interested in learning from the rich history and culture of China and we hope to apply this to our passions in life, and serve others in the process.
As teachers of diverse students, we both hope to grow professionally by not only enriching our teaching practice in a new and challenging environment, but also by experiencing what many of our students go through as they struggle to acclimate successfully in a new and intimidating setting. Additionally, we intend to study and learn Mandarin, and hopefully apply it in future teaching positions.
Furthermore, as parents of an immensely bright child, we want to give her an opportunity to experience a culture completely foreign to her own and broaden her vision of her role as a citizen of the world. We see this as a moment to both challenge and empower her as she moves into a new stage of her life.
Let me end by getting to the point of this letter (which I'm sure you've figured out by now). Our family has been working (we still are) arduously over the past several months to make this experience a reality. China, despite it's rapidly expanding economy,is still a developing country, which in turn does not allow it to offer the pay, incentives, or benefits that many other countries are able to provide, in order to draw foreign experts and teachers. Consequently, we have had to take many of the expenses on ourselves. We were aware of the challenges and sacrifices when we made this decision.
However, we have surrounded ourselves with many wonderful, generous people (who we are going to miss) over the years. We are fully aware that no one has money they can afford to give to every friend or acquaintance requesting a donation; however, we also realize that many generous people helping out in big and small ways can make a great deal of difference. ANY amount that you can contribute would be greatly appreciated.
We will be departing on August 22, so if you are willing to contribute in any amount, please do so before Tuesday, August 20, 2013.
Melanie, Justin, and Nadia
BREAKDOWN of EXPENSES and where your $$$ will HELP
$2,659.24-Airfare (one way) for 3 people from ATL to Beijing
$225.00- Immunizations for family and crazy weird Chinese medical checkup
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