In July of this year I will be taking a year off from teaching here in China. I will be heading back to the United States and I will be going back to School at Lock Haven University in Pennsylvania to acquire a Degree in Psychology.
I will also be teaching online ESL courses from Lock Haven as well. I am looking forward to the change and I am also looking forward to going back to School.
I had many jobs over the years, I was a corrections officer in Maryland, a Parole and Probation Agent in Maryland, and an intensive case manager with mental health in Pennsylvania. But the job that gave me the most enjoyment was teaching at the Suzhou International Foreign Language School. The students enjoy my classes and I grew to loving my students very much. Teaching in many ways provided me with purpose and I feel I impacted the lives of my students in a positive way.
I know my students truly impacted my life in ways that go beyond words. I am not a different person, except in appearance perhaps, because I lost a considerable amount of weight here in China. I lost a hundred pounds over the past 5 years, I think because I feel better about my life and what I am doing in terms of my profession and the relationships I have built over the years.
|Early Years in China|
China has truly revealed many aspects about who I am as a person and the power that love can have in transforming our lives toward growing into better human beings.
I’ve learned over the years that when you respect others that respect will be returned to you. With every job I’ve had over the years I was able to gain the respect of others by simply talking with them as equals and listing to their issues. I suppose that is the reason I have always taken an interest in learning more about people and how they think.
I am going to miss China and the people I have gotten to know over the years, especially, my students who brought me great joy. Humor has also been a key to my success but teaching online from Lock Haven will not be the same as teaching the students from a class room.
Well, this is going to be a short column and hopefully I will be able to keep you informed about the goings on with my life in the University. I know I will find my courses interesting and I am planning to audit a creative writing course and joining the drama club during my brief stay there. But who knows maybe I will remain there to pursue a master’s degree in counseling which has been another goal of mine as well.
I have posted some videos on YouTube here are the links to the videos.
This is a video from one of my ESL classes at the Suzhou International Foreign Language School in Suzhou, China where I taught for the past 9 years. Thomas F O'Neill, Suzhou, China youtu.be Thomas F O'Neill, Suzhou, China youtu.be
- Always with love from Suzhou, China
Thomas F O’Neill
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- Other articles, short stories, and commentaries by Thomas F. O'Neill can be found on his award winning blog, Link: