Teaching: In the beginning

left for Shanghai the day after my 24th birthday. Beginning my education career in Shanghai was a perfect opportunity. I was a sociology major with no education classes on my transcript. I arrived holding a copy of Harry Wong's The First Days of School (Some may argue that this is all you need to get a good start).
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I arrived mid-school year, near the end of the first semester. Arriving while school was in session was priceless. I observed my team leader and another master teacher for a solid week. There is nothing like on the job training. 

When school closed for winter break, I had time to assimilate to Shanghai life, making sure all my lower level Maslow hierarchy of needs were taken care of before officially jumping into the classroom. 

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During the break one of my mentors and his wife visited Shanghai. He is a retired school principal and lifetime educator. He visited my classroom and helped me brainstorm ideas for setup and management. Imagine having your college professor help you setup your first ever classroom/office (He also helped me setup my 1st grade and 5th grade classrooms back in Dallas several years later). Without him I wouldn't have had such a smooth start to my new assignments. 

When my four and five year old students arrived for their second semester of kindergarten, their new teacher was ready.