In today’s Soapbox, teacher Justin Gee tells the story of how he and his wife made the difficult decision to pack up their family and move to Singapore, because 80+ hour work weeks were still not enough to pay off his college debt and support his family.
This year my wife, son and I decided to pack our bags and moved to Singapore in order for me to work for an American international school. The move was bittersweet – leaving a school which has been setting trends in NC and around the world with its leadership model. Luckily for me, my principal was very supportive to seek and discover a better life abroad. However, my new reality began to set, and I soon realized how sad it was for me to leave my students, knowing they would not be able to say hi in passing nor have the opportunity to visit me. To know that I no longer would be a member of their community and in turn become part of the rotating door of exiting teachers. To know I had to leave my friends and family in life in order to pursuit a chance to be respected, recognized and probably compensated for what I am truly worth. When I decided to return to university in 2003 to become a teacher, I did not know these hardships would lie ahead of me.