Part 3: The Decision

Read Part 1 & 2 here.

Part 3: The Decision

The big day had finally arrived. It was Tuesday morning. After months of preparing, worrying, and excitement, it was time to make a decision. It was 6:30am. I knew that in the next 12 hours, my life would change, hopefully for the better.

I had my interview at 8am with the school in Singapore. I waited anxiously outside the interviewer’s room at 7:50am. I tried to stay calm. For the next hour or so, I answered questions for a good 4o minutes. Then, I had a chance to ask a few more questions. As the interview was wrapping up, he asked me what my time line was like.

I explained that there were two other schools that I was considering and I would have to make a decision by the end of the day. He told me that he wanted me to Skype with the two elementary school principals who were in Singapore later that day. He also let me know that he would do his best to make a decision quickly.

I received an e-mail from the principal in Singapore when I got back to my room. We were going to Skype at 2pm. Then, I went to a second interview with another school at 10am. I ended up getting the job offer with this school and they wanted me to give them a decision by 4pm!

I came back to my room, weighing the possibilities in my head, the choice would be super easy if I was offered the job in Singapore, but I still had one more interview left with them. All I could hope was that I would get an offer from the school in Singapore before 4pm. I would have to tell the other two schools I was deciding between by 4pm.

I paced in my small hotel room overlooking Bangkok. Which school should I go to? Would I even get the offer from Singapore? Which school and country would I be most happy in? I needed clarity. I had about 2 hours until my Skype interview. I attempted to eat some lunch and ordered room service. I tried to do some last minute prep for the interview. I kept wondering if the principal like me. Skype interviews were always a bit more awkward and harder than face to face interviews. I could only hope that there wouldn’t be any technical difficulties.

Two o’clock rolled around, I heard the signature Skype ring from my computer. The interview lasted a good 30 minutes. At the end, she said that she would recommend to the superintendent that I would be hired! I couldn’t believe it. All I needed now was the official offer. I told her that it would be best if they could contact me immediately. I knew that the superintendent was also in the middle of interviewing other people. I had an hour and half left.

It was three o’clock, and I received the e-mail from the superintendent. He offered me the fifth grade position! I couldn’t believe it! However, I still did not know any of the details of the salary or benefits of my package. We agreed to talk at 4pm about the contract details.

I decided to tell the other two schools that I would not be taking their offer. One was a 6th grade math/science position and the other was a 6th grade English position. I knew in my heart, I wasn’t ready to leave the fifth grade and especially reading and writing workshop quite yet.

I was a pretty emotional time telling the other two schools I would not take the offer. It was surprising, but it felt kind of like a breakup. You’ve made a certain bond and connection with the school and administrators over the short time, and it’s hard to say that you are going to pick another school. You feel really bad and it’s not like you don’t like their school. Overall, it did go well. Both schools told me to consider them again in the future when I’m ready for a change. They were both so understanding and supportive.

As four o’clock rolled around, I headed to see the superintendent at the school in Singapore. He went over the contract and the benefits.
“So, how much time will you need to make a decision?” He asked, with the crisp contract in his hand. I looked over my copy of the contract carefully.

“I’m ready to sign right now.” I replied with a smile.

“Oh really?! That’s great!” He answered surprised.

Now, the real journey starts, a new country, a new school, a new path.
Night Vision

Singapore Night View @ Marina Bay Sands

Singapore Art Museum

Marina Bay Sands on the Last Day of 2011..

For more slice of life entries, go to two writing teachers.

17 thoughts on “Part 3: The Decision

  1. Stacey says:

    This is so exciting! I’ve been looking forward to hearing more about your final decision (Yea for grade 5, rw, and ww!) all week. You’re really going to have a new adventure… that’s for sure. Kudos for you for taking such a big step! (And I thought leaving Manhattan for Rhode Island was a big deal.)

    Anyway, the best of luck to you. Will I see you at the TCRWP this summer?

  2. Linda Baie says:

    Congratulations for receiving all the offers, but for getting the one you wanted. I hope it works beautifully for you in all the ways, as you said, new home, new country, new school. What a time these next months will be for you!

  3. Deb Day says:

    Good Luck in your new adventure, Jee. How exciting. And getting the position you really wanted, even better. Keep the pictures and the posts coming. I like living vicariously through you!

  4. Mrs. L says:

    What a HUGE school. I can’t even imagine being one of a gazillion sections. I am glad you are excited and your writing gave people a small glimpse into how crazy our job fairs are.

  5. Elisa Waingort says:

    Congrats! Although I didn’t read the first two parts I can tell that this was not an easy decision and that you weighed everything carefully. I taught for over 10 years in Ecuador and loved it.

  6. Elizabeth G says:

    Congrats, you have so many new adventures ahead of you. My stomach started to knot just reading your predicament. You handle stress so well. Good luck on the new adventures ahead of you….you’ll be amazing.

  7. Mrs. V says:

    I just had to make a career related decision for next year as well this week. Mine also included choosing writing and reading workshop. I love the pictures at the end of your post. Good luck with all your new adventures!

  8. jackie says:

    Jee Young, Your post is so exciting and I wish you the best!! I’m currently a third grade teacher in Michigan and am considering international teaching. I plan to attend the San Francisco job fair with Search Associates. I was wondering if you would mind if I emailed you for your thoughts on a couple of different schools in Seoul. Thanks so much for your consideration!
    –Jackie

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