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We profile two cool for school AISHK expat teachers on leisure, teaching style and lifestyle living in Hong Kong

Have you ever wondered what teachers get up to during their down time? Expat Living recently had the opportunity to chat with expat Australian International School Hong Kong (AISHK) teachers Chris Bird and Carlie Plummer about leisure, teaching style and lifestyle living in Hong Kong.

 

AISHK expat teachers on leisure, teaching style, lifestyle in Hong Kong
Chris Bird, Grade 6 teacher at AISHK

Chris Bird, British, six months in Hong Kong

Where are you from and what do you miss about it?
I’m from Backwell, a village on the outskirts of Bristol in England. Apart from family and close friends, I miss the crisp air, bacon sandwiches, small-town friendliness and being able to watch sport during daytime hours. Too many late nights watching the World Cup here!

What brought you to Hong Kong?
The job at AISHK. Also, having lived in Shanghai for two years, I was keen for the buzz of an Asian city again. My wife Brigitte and I were keen to experience a bit of adventure before starting a family. Living in Hong Kong also brings us closer to Brigitte’s immediate family (in Shanghai) and my family in the UK. Prior to arriving in Hong Kong we were living in Melbourne where I was working at a girl’s school called Firbank Grammar and my wife at the Australia China Business Council.

What do you like most about Hong Kong?Efficiency, the MTR, getting from one place to another very quickly, the eclectic feel and style of the surroundings and people, and the dichotomy of tradition and modernity; I also like having the option of total immersion in the culture or finding creature comforts that aid any homesickness.

What does your role at AISHK entail?
I’m a Grade 6 teacher in a team of four. I really enjoy teaching this grade level after spending much of the last five years in Grades 1 and 3. I enjoy the conversations with the students and the excellent work ethic they display. I’m also coach of the under-12 and under-14 boys’ soccer teams. I’ve coached successful teams in the UK and enjoy it very much. After a difficult start to the season we have begun to enjoy some good results.

What do you like about the job?
I enjoy working with colleagues and students from a range of backgrounds. The people I’m working alongside have a huge variety of skills and knowledge as well as a global perspective. I feel that this environment can only enhance my teaching skills, and I look forward to working at the school for the foreseeable future. There is a real family feel to the school and Australian values are genuine and very prominent.

 

AISHK expat teachers on leisure, teaching style, lifestyle in Hong Kong

How would you describe your teaching style?
Relaxed and calm but focused. My classroom is an environment where students should feel they have the freedom to express themselves openly without reservation. I like to think that students always have a clear understanding of my expectations and I believe in openness, honesty and clear communication. I pride myself on the positive relationships I have with students, parents and colleagues.

Tell us a bit about your HK neighbourhood.
I’m in Yau Ma Tei, near Jordan Station in Kowloon. The MTR to school takes 15 minutes. I like the “local” feel just behind Nathan Road, and walking home through the colourful Bowring Street markets. There is great food just downstairs from me – a favourite is Mak’s noodles: Michelin-star wonton noodles for a reasonable HK$40. I also love that within a 50-metre radius I can encounter quirky clothes, electronics, kebabs, a traditional Chinese garden, bars, turtles and flamingos, the airport express bus, never-smelled-before-smells, a wet market and a beautiful outdoor public swimming pool in Kowloon Park.

How would a perfect Hong Kong Sunday unfold for you?
Fresh market. The Alchemist Café in Prince Edward. Kowloon Park. Dim sum brunch with friends or a stroll around the neighbourhood.

AISHK expat teachers on leisure, teaching style, lifestyle in Hong Kong
Carlie Plummer, Preparatory Teacher and Year Level Leader at AISHK

 

Carlie Plummer, Australian, 1.5 years in Hong Kong

Where are you from and what do you miss about it?
Australia. I grew up in a small beach town called Coffs Harbour. I mainly miss my friends and family and the Australian sea!

What brought you to Hong Kong?
I moved here for the AISHK job. I always wanted to live abroad, and teaching as a profession lends itself so generously to that opportunity. Hong Kong appealed due to its vibrant culture and proximity to home.

What do you like most about living in Hong Kong?
I like the people. I find most expats are outgoing, ambitious and fun. Everyone is always planning for an adventure either abroad or in Hong Kong! I also enjoy the travel, I have been lucky enough to travel as far as Mexico and Italy as well as within Asia!

What does your role at AISHK entail?
I’m a Preparatory teacher and the Year Level Leader. The early years in education play a pivotal role in providing children with the tools they need to flourish at school. Most important of these tools are developing a love of learning, curiosity, confidence, creativity, providing strong foundational blocks for children particularly in literacy and numeracy and a respect for themselves and each other. I’m responsible for trying to ensure that our Preparatory programmes equip our students with these skills so that at the end of the year they finish being the best they possibly can be.

What do you like about the job?
AISHK is like a little slice of Australia in Hong Kong, which creates the unique opportunity to have a strong community feel in such a densely populated global city. I also really enjoy how worldly the children are. Children at AISHK have a beautiful curiosity for the world around them. For example, I was asked the other day if penguins live with their family in an igloo.

How would you describe yourself as a teacher?
I am conscientious and creative. I’m very passionate about ensuring that the children in my class flourish by focusing on the holistic development of each child – ensuring that they develop academically, emotionally and socially.

I’m also passionate about investing in education as a way to open doors for third world countries. The year before moving to Hong Kong I volunteered as an Educational Consultant for So They Can, an Australian charity that is helping to support a community of internally displaced people in Nakuru, Kenya. The community was displaced as a result of tribal violence surrounding the Kenyan 2007 elections. I went to Nakuru and ran teacher-development courses for the Kenyan teachers, as well as working with the children. It was an inspiring experience and an amazing example of how a positive school experience can help to empower not only a child but a community too. I would love to do more work in the area.

Tell us a bit about your HK neighbourhood.
I live in Mid-levels and take the MTR to work. Midlevels is a very vibrant place to live; the bars are always full and there is a good variety of restaurants so there is always a buzz. One of my favourite new things is the night PMQ markets.

How would a perfect Hong Kong Sunday unfold for you?
A junk, lots of friends, clear blue skies and finishing at Sevva!

Australian International School Hong Kong (AISHK)
3A Norfolk Road, Kowloon Tong
2304 6078 | aishk.edu.hk

 

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