Since 2014 September I’ve been working as a Chinese language teacher and experienced the highs and lows of teaching a foreign language as a non native speaker. First year being unsure of my own capabilities while I was still a masters degree student and not yet graduated. After graduation in 2016 I experienced the busy years of running a business and being a teacher at the same time. Trying to juggle my own lessons and managing a group of teachers.
As we know that was followed by the quiet season when the pandemic hit in the early 2020. Was literally babysitting dogs to bring income and food to the table, learned a lot from that experience and gained a lifetime friend when one of the dogs stayed with us indefinitely.
My Chinese language center was affected greatly by the pandemic and still continues to be affected as long as the borders stay somewhat closed and there is a 2-3 weeks centralized quarantine when entering China. But on the bright side we are fortunate to keep teaching our old students and have new students to join as well. Also invited one of our part time teachers to join our team as a full time teacher.
Now being a Chinese teacher for the past 7 years I feel there is need for further improvement in teaching, methods and in my self. As a teacher I have a lifelong love for learning and feel my best when I can challenge my self to learn something new.
As a first step I enrolled in an online course at the University of Lapland to study Classical Chinese, learning to read parts of the Analects by Confucius in its original language. I feel like I’m learning Chinese all over again and deepening my knowledge of the language, both benefits will then be carried down to my own teaching and to my students.
During this time I saw Turku University in Finland looking for a professor in Chinese language and though I do not match the requirements right now, nor do I plan to move to Finland so soon, but it got me thinking about my future and future opportunities. Would I dare to think about continuing my studies?
Before I even realized, I was on a video call to Helsinki University and started to talk about my dreams and plans for applying for a Phd program in Finland. I am still at the beginning stages of finding out if this is even possible to do remotely (as it’s difficult to travel right now) and if I could find a supervisor for this long journey to come. I also know that even if I apply it’s not a given that I will be accepted, but I am very eager to try! It’s both frightening and exciting at the same time!
My own blogging journey started many years ago as a study blog when I was applying for Finnish universities in 2006-2008. Then again when I moved to China I kept writing down my experiences of learning Chinese and studying in a Chinese university. Perhaps now I can get back to my roots and start writing about my own studies again?